Beyonce is known for being an R&B artist and a little bit of pop/hip hop. This song somewhat challenges the genres her music usually falls under. While the song is still, in a sense, contemporary R&B and pop, it pushes one step further by being categorized as “electropop” as well. While the term “electropop” is newer, it is a mix of pop and electronic music. It has been around since the mid to late 70s, but was known as “synth pop” because artists such as Simple Minds, Jean-Michael Jerre, Devo, and Revenge of the Nerd used a synthesizer in their music. Other well known artists of today’s generation whose music falls under the electropop category include Lady Gaga, Skrillex, and Calivn Harris. From what I’ve gathered and from listening to these other artists, electropop is pop music mixed with an EDM genre, where you want to get up, sing, and dance!

To begin, contemporary R&B is slightly different from classic R&B. Contemporary R&B is a combination of rap and pop mixed with a little funk and sometimes soul. It was derived from African American music and founded in the 80s. The main difference between the two is that R&B is more jazzy and has flow and rhythm. On the other hand, contemporary R&B is more filled with electronics and is similar to hip hop. Some famous hip hop singers include Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. R&B songs use bass guitars and heavy drum beats and focus on the singer’s voice rather than the lyrics. They are also mostly about love and sex.

Moreover, R&B has changed since the early times and has now become contemporary R&B which is a mix of dance, hip hop, funk, and soul. R&B music used to be heavily sung and listened to by Aftrican Americans as a way to talk about issues in the world. Now, it is a very popular genre accepted by all races and ages. This has allowed more people to see issues within America and the world through these songs.

When looking at the contemporary R&B genre in comparison to the song “Run The World (Girls)” there are some things that align and others that do not. To start off there are many ways the song fits into the genre. The music is definitely very upbeat, hip hop, and makes you want to get up and dance, just as many contemporary R&B songs make you want to. As I will talk about below, it includes an electronic feature as well. There are loud drums playing throughout almost all of the song too. The lyrics of the song are definitely bringing attention to issues in the world. They are saying how girls can run the world, just like men do and that they are just as capable of working and succeeding in the workforce. 

Some ways in which the song doesn’t align with this genre is that it is not about the vocals, it is about the lyrics empowering women and the music is upbeat, dancing song. Unlike a lot of Beyonce’s other songs where her vocals shine, this is not comparable. It almost sounds like she is speaking these words to women. The music compares to a more pop, dance, or electric vibe. When listening to the song you want to sing along and dance. 


The second genre that this song compares to is electropop. The definition of this genre is somewhat confusing. It started off as Synth Pop which is essentially regular pop music that has synthesizer noises in the background. As stated above many popular present day artist’s songs fall under this genre. The genre can also be compared to hip hop. These songs usually fall under the theme of lost love or finding love or something close to it. They are also usually very mainstream, catchy, and easy for people to memorize the lyrics to. They target the largest audience possible. 

Additionally, electropop is supposed to be a timeless genre. The synths are meant to not sound too retro. For example Lady Gaga’s song Just Dance is 12 years old now but the synth sounds in that song are something you would still hear 8 years later in an electropop song. It is a little less than plain electronic music because there are vocals included. Electronic music usually has little to no lyrics at all so the synth can be loud whereas in electropop you can only add so much synth because of the vocals. These songs are catchy. 

When looking at the electropop genre in comparison to the song “Run The World (Girls)” there are some things that align and others that do not. To start off there are many ways the song fits into the genre. The entire background music was sampled off of Major Lazer’s “Pon De Floor” and this song’s genre is dance/electronic. All of the music sounds like it was created using a synthesizer. There are beat drops, drums, and it even sounds like lasers are being used quietly in the back. As far as the lyrics, she sounds like Lady Gaga or Charli XCX would sound, very upbeat and energetic. The song also is edited in a way to repeat the lyrics, which give it an electropop sound effect. Two parts Beyonce does it at are “Boy don’t even try to touch this (touch this)/Boy this beat is crazy (crazy)”. There are many other points throughout the song where the lyrics and her voice are edited to sound like electronic music. It seems like a timeless song because 8 years later you would hear similar sounds in an electropop song. 

Some ways in which the song doesn’t align with the genre is through the way she sings the lyrics. Electropop is supposed to be catchy. The chorus is definitely catchy and makes you want to sing, but the rest of the song is very fast and it is hard to sometimes understand what Beyonce is singing and I cannot remember all the words. It almost feels like she is slightly rapping. It also doesn’t fit the common theme of love. This song is about women and empowering them to be at the same level or even better than men. Finally, while it is made for a large audience, all the women in the world, it is very directed at empowering women. Although, it could catch the attention of men because of the title. By titling it the way she did, many men may be interested in seeing what the song is about and think that it is super catchy. 

Overall, you wouldn’t necessarily think of contemporary R&B mixing with electropop but in the case of this song it works very well. The combination of the two is not only a change for Beyonce, but it brings the audience in and makes them want to listen.