As I said yesterday in What Else?, I did not listen to the Beyoncé leaks, didn’t even try to find them. I’m not entirely innocent, though, because I did check online to find out more about the 28-page booklet that comes with the CD. I am capable of waiting for music, but when it comes to information… well… that’s my weakness.
So consider this a warning – if you are a better person that I am and are committed to having the CD and the booklet in hand and you can resist the spoilers, click away now. Not that it’s the kind of spoiler like with a movie or a TV show, but I get it that sometimes you just want to learn things on your own, especially when you’ve paid for the product.
We learn from the booklet that RENAISSANCE, as very clearly marked, is act i, the first of a three act project recorded during the pandemic. RENAISSANCE, then, is just the beginning. We are getting MORE. The Queen Beyoncé has a whole trilogy planned. What exactly that trilogy looks like, how it all fits together, and what the timeline for the next two acts will be, of course, remains to be seen. But when people refer to BEYONCÉ IS COMING as a cultural reset, this is no joke.
Tomorrow is the beginning of… well… something. As I’ve been saying all week, why are we even working tomorrow? What else will there be to talk about?! It also happens to be a long weekend in Canada so, in the spirit of “Break My Soul”, I’m trying to make the case here that we should “release ya job, release the time, release ya trade, release the stress, release the love, forget the rest”!
That’s actually kind of ironic though where Beyoncé is concerned. Because her moment of creative release actually makes MORE work for the people who are studying here, and that’s all of us. Consider all the scholarship that accompanied Lemonade and Beychella and Homecoming – that is her influence, this is what makes her peerless. When the Queen of Culture decides that it’s time for a culture shift, it means that those of us participating in the culture must engage with the change so as to acclimate to our new world.
Because “Beyoncé moves with intention” and the intention is already evident even in the collaborator credits on RENAISSANCE, expected to be a dance-focus album, with Beyoncé paying tribute to the dance music trailblazers who came before her.
As music and culture expert Taylor Crumpton told The Guardian, “I think of Beyoncé more now as a historian than a musician” and through her stories, increasingly over the last decade, Beyoncé has been honouring the Black contribution to the human artistic experience. So even while people will be getting down and sweaty in the club to the tracks on RENAISSANCE for weeks and months to come, there is no doubt she’ll also be giving them more to think about and consider, much more to interrogate and perhaps reframe through her creative expression and creative curation. That process already began with “Break My Soul” and how she sampled Robin S’s “Show Me Love”, and the often uncredited leadership of Black artists in the house music era.
Meanwhile, back to the booklet, Beyoncé credits her children, her parents, Jay-Z, and her uncle Jonny, who she calls her “godmother”, the person who introduced her to the music that inspired RENAISSANCE.
Just a few more hours now. Until then, this tweet made me laugh, because even though I didn’t go looking for the leaked tracks, it’s how I’m feeling now after having written about the booklet:
I clicked the link to the leak and the first song on the Beyonce album is just her saying "So, you just couldn't wait, could you?" And then she read my address back to me before the song started.— Keith Nelson Jr (@JusAire) July 27, 2022
I'll see y'all in prison
Yours in gossip,