The last time I posted about a new miss A single, I wrote about how all their songs take a hell of a long time to grow on me before I’m completely slayed, snatched, and obliterated by the divine flawlessness of miss A-mazing. “Touch” took the longest at around a month or two, but the group’s latest single, “I Don’t Need a Man”, had me at hello.
There were a few raised eyebrows when JYP announced that miss A’s new album, Independent Women Part III, was directly inspired by the ladies of Destiny’s Child, even going as far as to title it after DC’s famous Charlie’s Angels hit, but the only thing the two have in common is a shared name. miss A actually have less in common with Destiny’s Child than the Wonder Girls do, who have noticeably referenced Beyonce in their recent hits “Be My Baby” and “Like This”.
The JYP-produced “I Don’t Need a Man” is a Southern hip-hop track filtered through the lens of K-pop. The key traits of the dirty south sound are present, like 808 snares and a fat kickdrum, but plucky guitar strings and miss A’s playful delivery make “I Don’t Need a Man” more lighthearted than your typically harder-edged American hip-hop song.
Lyrically, the song also deviates from the standard American formula, which puts a lot of emphasis on superficial things like cars, jewelry, and looking sexy. miss A don’t care what you think of them and they aren’t after anything that they didn’t earn. They’d rather work hard all day and buy nice things on layaway than accept a dime from somebody else.
“I’m gonna live for myself,” they sing. “I don’t care about living a good life like other kids do with rich parents and a rich man / that’s why I feel honorable.”
According to miss A’s philosophy, a girl’s self-worth should come from her own positive actions and nothing else. Just because you’re not flossing like Fergie doesn’t mean that you can’t still have the confidence of a chick with a million dollar bank account. However, for all their serious talk about not needin’ no man to pay the bills, you still always get the sense that miss A are just having fun with everything. They never try too hard to convince you that they’re better off alone, which only makes you believe their message of independence even more.
“I Don’t Need a Man” isn’t the first time that miss A have put a fresh spin on the tried and tested message of female empowerment. On their debut single “Bad Girl Good Girl”, they called out hypocritical men who enjoyed their provocative dancing yet also dared to judge them for their bold sexuality.
At this point, miss A are starting to rival 2NE1 as K-pop’s premiere girl power group. They’re also up there right next to Wonder Girls as JYP’s most consistent act, as they’ve yet to drop a bad single since their debut.
So, girls and gays, what are you waiting for? Get your single lady swag on check out miss A’s latest below.
Anyone else catch Jia paying homage to Ciara with the bendy back Matrix move?