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Beyoncé Samples Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie On Feminist Anthem 'Flawless'

Beyoncé samples Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Bow Down' on her new feminist anthem 'Flawless.'


Alas a media blitz is upon us courtesy of Queen Bey's utter reinvention of the album. The high point of the bombshell unveiled at the stroke of US east coast midnight comes from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie– who spits a verse (sampled) on Beyoncé's ladies power anthem "Flawless." The rework of screwed and somewhat chopped Hit-Boy-produced crown adjustment "Bow Down" pairs the two titans of girl power together on the trappiest call to universal feminist action yet made. Said sampling comes from Adichie's follow-up to her massively important 2009 pillar of the TED community, a speech delivered at TedxEuston which asks audiences to dismiss the notion of feminism being inherently "unAfrican." The newly crowned TED Talk heard round the world, "We should all be feminists" explores how Adichie transitioned from "feminist" to “happy African feminist who does not hate men, and who likes lip gloss, and who wears high heels for herself but not for men.” In between the bowing, take a break to watch the speech that inspired the coming wave of flawless mornings.

"Flawless" (watch a 15 second clip below) features the following lines from the 30 minute talk:

"We should all be feminists"

We teach girls to shrink themselves

To make themselves smaller

We say to girls

"You can have ambition

But not too much

You should aim to be successful

But not too successful

Otherwise you will threaten the man"

Because I am female

I am expected to aspire to marriage

I am expected to make my life choices

Always keeping in mind that

Marriage is the most important

Now marriage can be a source of

Joy and love and mutual support

But why do we teach to aspire to marriage

And we don't teach boys the same?

We raise girls to each other as competitors

Not for jobs or for accomplishments

Which I think can be a good thing

But for the attention of men

We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings

In the way that boys are

Feminist: the person who believes in the social

Political, and economic equality of the sexes

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It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

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Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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