Beyoncé’s “Hold Up” Lyrics Meaning
In this track, Beyoncé is addressing an unfaithful lover. And she is telling him to “hold up”, as in “slow down” and consider the consequences of his actions primarily because the other women he is dealing with do not esteem him as highly as she does.
At the beginning of the first verse, we see that Beyoncé indeed has circumstantial evidence that her man has been cheating. This has her scrambling to gather even more proof. She also concludes that she is going to beat up the woman up whom he has been dealing with. She concludes the verse by questioning, in a roundabout way, what is it exactly that made him lose interest in her while alluding to the fact that that whole situation is having a maddening effect on her mind state.
The general speculation is that Beyoncé is referring to her real-life relationship with her husband, rap mogul Jay-Z. And this becomes more-evident in the second verse. This section is centered on Bee asking the addressee of this track if the women who are sweating him would still do so if he were just an average person. And her answer to this question is “no”, stating that these same ladies “used to hide from (him)” and “lie to (him)”. Then she asserts that the two of them “were made for each other”.
Ultimately Jigga’s unfaithful ways have the potential of driving Beyoncé mad. However, this track reads by and large like a love song. Otherwise stated, throughout these trials, the singer’s strong affection for her man never wavers. Rather she is basically warning him that if he does not take time and be wise, he is going to let a love as good as theirs go to waste.
Facts about “Hold Up”
- Over a dozen writers have been credited with composing “Hold Up”. They include Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, MNEK, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Beyoncé, Josh Tillman (Father John Misty) and Major Lazer’s Diplo.
- Ezra Koenig, Beyoncé and Diplo are also behind the production of this track.
- The first verse and refrain were written by Father John Misty. He was notified that his lyrics were included in the song personally by Beyoncé at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2015.
- “Hold Up” is the second song on the tracklist of Beyoncé’s 2016 album Lemonade.
- The official released date of “Hold Up” was 23 April 2016.
- Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records collaborated on the release of this track.
- The chorus of this song interpolates the 2003 track “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In fact the lead singer of the band, Karen O, had a memorable experience of hearing someone sing “Hold Up” on a New York City subway.
- “Hold Up” also samples the 2008 track “Turn My Swag On” by Soulja Boy Tellem.
Did “Hold Up” win a Grammy?
No. However, it was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017.
Achievements of “Hold Up”
- Slant Magazine ranked “Hold Up” number-4 amongst its “25 Best Singles of 2016” list.
- “The 100 Best Songs of 2016”, published by Pitchfork, placed “Hold Up” in the number-28 position.
- The music video, which based on Beyoncé taking out her frustration, with the assistance of a baseball bat, on cars and security cameras, earned the distinction of being entitled Best Female Video at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.
How did “Hold Up” perform on charts across the globe?
“Hold Up” peaked at number 13 on the Hot 100. But it reached higher on the UK Singles chart, placing at number-11. It went on to top the charts in some countries, including Australia, Belgium, and New Zealand.
Other countries where the song charted include Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Scotland, Spain and Sweden.
In the United States alone, this song sold over a million copies by 2018. Owing to this, it was certified platinum by none other than the RIAA.