I’ve listened to this song several times now and I must say I’m really impressed. Sounds like something Michael or Prince would sing. The song clearly registers some sort of time-travel of decline (or maybe a denouement) from the upbeat 80’s beginning to the hip-hop Houston-esque ending. Both parts feel rather dark and sinister to me.
Being the complicated, overanalytical person that I am I take Pyramids in one of two ways:
- It seems to represent some sort of patriarchal, afrocentric view of the so-called “moral decline of the Black Woman”. Starting with the (black) egyptian Queen Cleopatra to a 2012 Stripper/prostitute named Cleopatra. I found you laying down with Sampson (a biblical reference, kinda interesting)…I found my black queen Cleopatra, bad dreams Cleopatra. This later turns into a pimp alledging that he has a girl (named Cleopatra) working for him AT the Pyramid (gotcha girl working for me) and keeping his bills paid. If taken negatively, the final scene between the modern Cleopatra and a random client represents the immoral fabric of the current culture in which sex is the norm and any woman who participates in it, is subject to the double standards of a male-dominated society regardless if she FEELS liberated or not.
- OR… more importantly, it could be taken in a rather feminist POV that results in a kind of self-resolution for the woman. In both scenarios, you have a woman (a black woman) asserting her power through sexuality and sensual grace. The use of working her way up the pyramid (to power) for Egyptian Cleopatra turns into, She’s working AT the Pyramid (a strip club)for money. The final scene of the song is of the prostitute with her client making him feel like a man: the way you say my name, makes me feel like I’m that n*gga but I’m still unemployed. The client thinks to himself: but your love ain’t free. Here is modern Cleopatra who sees her value and is not interested in the inner workings of a male-female relationship. She simply wants what is hers and is willing to do anything to get it. The same could be said for the Egyptian Cleopatra.Basically, two women named Cleopatra, two completely different time periods asserting themselves as individuals in a frightening world where power and comfort isn’t cheap.
There so many other references in the song to choose from but these are some of the ones that stuck out to me. Also I would like to point out, there is that middle part that almost seems like it could be a time-travel scene to the present. This is a really great song and it was so well done. I’m interested in seeing what the video will look like!