Song of the Day #4,186: ‘Hold Up’ – Beyoncé

Best Albums of the 2010s – #6
Lemonade – Beyoncé (2016)

Beyoncé’s Lemonade is more than a great collection of songs (though it is that). It is a personal and political statement, at once deeply confessional and universally deep. It is also a “visual album” that links its tracks with spoken-word poetry and mesmerizing visuals.

It’s a project only an artist with the confidence and swagger of Beyoncé could pull off. And pull it off she does, beautifully.

I remember watching Lemonade the first time and thinking “My God, this is building up to her walking out on Jay Z.” The album’s beginning is full of pain, anger, and tantalizing gossip (hello, “Becky with the good hair”).

But the record slowly shifts toward forgiveness, reconciliation and a reaffirmation of love. It’s quite beautiful, even if Jay Z still doesn’t deserve her.

Beyoncé sold more records in the 2000s, but she became a next-level cultural icon in this decade. 2011 saw the release of 4, but 2013’s Beyoncé was the real groundbreaker. Another visual album with a lineup of songs that rivals that of Lemonade, that record would have made this list as well were it not for my ‘one release per artist’ rule.

[Chorus]
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you
Back up, they don’t love you like I love you
Step down, they don’t love you like I love you
Can’t you see there’s no other man above you?
What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Oh, down, they don’t love you like I love you

[Verse 1]
Something don’t feel right because it ain’t right
Especially comin’ up after midnight
I smell your secrets, and I’m not too perfect
To ever feel this worthless
How did it come down to this? Scrolling through your call list
I don’t wanna lose my pride, but I’ma fuck me up a bitch
Know that I kept it sexy, you know I kept it fun
There’s something that I’m missing, maybe my head for one

[Refrain]
What’s worst, lookin’ jealous or crazy? Jealous or crazy?
Or like being walked all over lately, walked all over lately
I’d rather be crazy

[Chorus]
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you
Back up, they don’t love you like I love you
Step down, they don’t love you like I love you
Can’t you see there’s no other man above you?
What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you

[Verse 2]
Let’s imagine for a moment that you never made a name for yourself
Or mastered wealth, they had you labeled as a king
Never made it out the cage, still out there movin’ in them streets
Never had the baddest woman in the game up in your sheets
Would they be down to ride? No
They used to hide from you, lie to you
But y’all know we were made for each other
So I find you and hold you down
Me sing se

[Chorus]
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you
Back up, they don’t love you like I love you
Step down, they don’t love you like I love you
Can’t you see there’s no other man above you?
What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you

[Bridge]
Hey, this such a shame
You let this good love go to waste
I always keep the top tier, 5 star
Backseat lovin’ in the car
Like make that wood, like make that wood
Holly like a boulevard

[Refrain]
What’s worse, lookin’ jealous or crazy? Jealous and crazy?
Or like being walked all over lately, walked all over lately
I’d rather be crazy

[Chorus]
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you
Back up, they don’t love you like I love you
Step down, they don’t love you like I love you
Can’t you see there’s no other man above you?
What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Oh, down, they don’t love you like I love you

[Outro]
I hop up out my bed and get my swag on
I look in the mirror, say, “What’s up?”
What’s up, what’s up, what’s up
I hop up out my bed and get my swag on
I look in the mirror, say, “What’s up?”
What’s up, what’s up, what’s up

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,186: ‘Hold Up’ – Beyoncé

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Jay Z cheating on Beyoncé settles any debate that adultery has anything to do with the attractiveness or sexiness of the spouse. While this very publicly exposed affair and reconciliation inspired great art, I’m willing to bet they aren’t together by the end of the 2020’s, and imagine the Beyoncé album and videos that will come from that!

  2. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    Love this album! Definitely one of the most innovative and honest albums of the decade with the visual supplement and raw open lyrics surrounded by great production and beautiful instrumentation. My favorite song off the album is Sandcastles but this song has a special place in my heart as Ezra Koenig the lead singer of Vampire Weekend co-wrote this one. His influence is clear in the melody and jauntiness of the chords.

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