Beyoncé Knowles is, at a very basic description, a woman from Houston, Texas who’s been the best at whatever she’s set her mind to since she was a kid, and her new return song is basically about both those things. In a hugely bombastic way, obviously.
The two-part Hit-Boy / Timbaland / Polow Da Don beat sounds huge, imperial, industrial and gritty at the same time, and Beyoncé relishes the opportunity to first tell anyone who might have thought less that she’s still definitely the best, and then that she’s been that from way back – did you know she was in a Willie D video when she was 14? I Been On is definitely tongue-in-cheek, in keeping with the latter part of her description of her upcoming fifth album as “a blend of ‘4’ and 2008’s ‘I Am . . . Sasha Fierce’” in a recent Vogue interview, but personally and musically it’s clear: she’s back and she feels great about it.