As mentioned the other day, we felt the rumbling. And then, overnight, a major tectonic shift. This is what she does to us – we wake up in the middle of the night having felt the vibration only she is capable of sending out into the world. By morning, it’s bedlam, the kind of bedlam only Beyoncé can produce.
The Queen has told us: IT’S TIME.
And what’s amazing about this time is that, LOL, she appears to be giving us time! She even gave us the signs, because by now we should all know… Beyoncé doesn’t leave room for accidents. She knew people would notice that she’d wiped out all the profile photos from her social media accounts last week. She knew that the Beyhive would be keeping an eye on the website for any strange changes. And then there was this:
Celebrating the brilliance and creativity of Black Musicians who have influenced the world through their art.#blackmusicmonth#BeyGOOD pic.twitter.com/6v4groCQFS— BeyGOOD (@BeyGood) June 15, 2022
There’s an image in that collage that has previously not been seen – it’s the one next to Brandy “B”, an arm in red leather that appears to be shaped in the number “7”, for Beyoncé’s seventh album. Then overnight the official announcement…
Which she had already previously teased, very subtly.
BeyoncÃ© had been recording music for her upcoming new album â€”#RENAISSANCEâ€” for more than a year and a half, as she previously revealed last August. ðŸ‘‘ pic.twitter.com/BLbVCTrjTj— BEYONCÃ‰ LEGION (@BeyLegion) June 16, 2022
Her exact words were, “I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible”.
The Renaissance will arrive on July 29, so she’s given us six weeks to prepare, six weeks to save our coins, six weeks to arrange our schedules (as in clear our schedules) and get our lives in order to make space, all the space, for her takeover. This is not hyperbole. By now if you need me to explain to you what happens to the culture when BEYONCÉ IS COMING, well, I can’t help you.
As forthcoming as Beyoncé has surprisingly been with this rollout though, there of course is still a lot of mystery. For example, Renaissance has been presented as “Act 1”. I’m not here to be greedy because OMG, Renaissance could be 30 seconds of Beyoncé humming and it would be enough. But if there’s an “Act 1”, does that means there’s an “Act II”? How many acts will there be? How long will she hold us hostage? To be clear, I am a WILLING hostage!
Also, the box sets, the merch. This tweet basically sums it up:
Not BeyoncÃ©â€™s selling the merch without showing us what it looks like!— Sylvia (@SylviaObell) June 16, 2022
Not thereâ€™s 4 options with no photos!
Not sheâ€™s tryna bring back CDâ€™s knowing damn well we ainâ€™t got no players!
Not ima buy a box anyway! ðŸ˜ https://t.co/9aRZm9jSVb
It’s true. You don’t know what you’re getting but you’re getting it anyway because, well, what are the chances Beyoncé will disappoint? This in and of itself is a flex. How many artists can just be like, here, I want you to buy this even though I’m not showing you exactly what “this” is and trust me, it’s worth it.
It’s kind of like her relationship with the media. Of course with Beyoncé everything is timed with scientific precision, so just as we were all still catching our breath with the announcement of the new album, she signs off on British Vogue’s release of their new Beyoncé issue as part of the heralding of this new era.
This, for sure, is a major exclusive with the photo shoot – a F-CKING AMAZING EDITORIAL – and Edward Enninful granted the privilege of spending time with the Queen herself both for the shoot and then invited over to her place for dinner (!!!) but when you read the piece, at least what’s been posted online, you’ll note there’s really only one thing Beyoncé says that appears in actual quotes:
“My earth, my heart, my soil and my sanity” – just nine words used to describe the people closest to her. Everything else is paraphrased with Edward relaying to us kind of sort of what it was like to be in her orbit and a general sense of what the music sounds like: DANCING. According to Edward, we’re getting a dance album!
But back to my point, she doesn’t actually say anything much herself here. She is described. She is observed. She’s allowed Edward to share his experience of spending time with her but she shares very little herself. The closest we come to any insight about the making of this album is, again, without quotes and it happens at the very end of Edward’s piece:
The creation has been a long process, she explains, with the pandemic giving her far longer to spend thinking and rethinking every decision. Just the way she likes it.
Since Edward is a journalist he would know what to quote and how to cite. The fact that he hasn’t given us her exact words is telling in and of itself…which is that she hasn’t actually told us much at all. Over the last decade, Beyoncé’s method is to speak through the art, and nothing more. She’s not going to compromise that through a magazine. The whole point here is that if we want to know what she’s thinking, we have to listen to the music.