“Diva is the female version of hustler”: As a non-US person, I think many of us are exposed to Afro-American music so much that it almost seems like it is part of us too. However, I am under no allusions that songs like Diva do not relate to me 100%. But, I can see what Beyonce is trying to do. She is portraying that a woman can do it better than a man, in today’s world where being a man exposes one to [some may say more] opportunities. I am sure she is not relating a diva to Larry Flynt’s filth magazine, Hustler though.
Of a hustler [oh], of a hustler [oh]: Beyonce’s trademark ”heys”, part of her call and response rhetoric have part of her portfolio for songs and songs (Just listen to Creole and Back Up). On Diva, this technique sounds more gutsy:
Tell me something, Where your boss at? (Where your boss at?)
When my ladies up in here, they like to talk back (talk back)
Call and response has always been part of African music and I think it is something that is obvious in many times of diaspora music (as shown by Diva here). In a way, using the call and response on a song by females mirrors the idea of rallying women together, which is something which we should continuously strive for.
I need the bags of that money! : Not all women are lucky enough to fend for themselves as we have seen, where women are still forced into marriages they don’t want to be in. Yet, we have got to the stage where massive stars like Madonna and Beyonce are equal breadwinners. Money is not the key to everything;yet, I think what I like about this song is the fact she is unabashed about women being hardcore about their pursuit for financial success.
If being successful in context of the song is working hard for myself and my family and achieving financial success, then I would gladly be a diva. But obviously, Beyonce’s aim for singing this song may be personal. It may be an attack against all her haters on the web or it could just be what I think it is: a tongue in cheek look at the fascination of being a successful woman in work.