Beyonce Knowles has given her fans a triple treat. First, she revealed the working title of her upcoming CD when doing an interview with Billboard for her cover story. "Everywhere I look, I see them calling it '4'," she said. "I had a whole other name and concept, but I keep seeing that the fans love the name '4'."
"I think it would be a really nice thing to let them name the record," she continued. "We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me," she says. It's the day I was born. My mother's birthday, and a lot of my friends' birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date."
Later, the wife of rapper Jay-Z held an album listening party at the NYC offices of Sony Music on Wednesday afternoon, May 11. She did not only preview "4" but also screened her upcoming music video for first single "Who Run the World (Girls)".
The first song, which got previewed at the listening party, has actually been leaked earlier this month under tentative title of "Till the End of Time". It's inspired by Fela Kuti, Afrobeat music pioneer who also inspired Jay-Z to produce a Broadway musical called "Fela!".
Beyonce told Billboard, "I recorded more than 60 songs: everything I ever wanted to try, I just did it. I started off being inspired by Fela Kuti. I actually worked with the band from 'Fela!' for a couple of days...what I learned most from Fela was artistic freedom: he just felt the spirit."
Another song is a ballad track which almost sent Beyonce to tears. It's about broken-hearted woman with lyrics: "I told you how you hurt me/ I'm crying and deserted but you don't care/ Nobody told me this is love/ You're immune to all my pain/ This is love but that's okay... But I care/ I know you don't care too much/ But I still care."
There is also a track which samples Boyz II Men's "Uuh Aah". Beyonce told JustJared, "Boyz II Men were the first ones to put Destiny's Child on tour. They showed us how to treat an opening act and I will never forget that. That was 15 years ago! Wow, 15 years! (laughs) I'm old."
Once the album preview was completed, Beyonce switched to screen upcoming "Who Run the World (Girls)" music video. "A lion walks into one of the dance numbers and Beyonce has two giant hyenas on leashes in another scene," so it was described.
"The room went crazy during two parts of the song. The first was when Beyonce sings 'eff you' and gives the middle finger (albeit pixelated with a censor). The second was when Beyonce is on her knees, bent backwards, and writhing around in the sand. It's reminiscent of the sand dance sequence in her 'Baby Boy' video."
While waiting for the video to arrive for viewing pleasure, fans can get a sneak peek in this newly-released extended trailer which gives a longer glimpse of her revolutionary battle with an army of girls.