As a new music artist myself I have to admit the way I hear new music is very different. I’ve always been lyric driven and that’s why Beyonce has always been one of my faves. She just nails it. I think her in-studio persona is the one she probably guards the most from the World, maybe even Jay, she did cite him as her muse. Her thank yous include her kids, her man, and her godmother who she says inspired the overall collective sound, yasss bishhh! Not that many artists of my youth are active anymore but Bey never lets me down, like ever. The first time I went to survey Hollywood, the elevator incident happened on that the same day. When I moved to Los Angeles full time, one week later Jay-Z put out 444. I’ve felt closer to these stories they’ve been telling musically more passionately in the past few years of my life as it’s been sort of a…mirror. Renaissance had me bouncing on the J train just a second ago and I almost felt like my destination was Sheepshead Bay High School locker room, where I attended high school. I’m almost certain I’m going to play Usher’s Confessions at some point today as well. Nostalgia can ward off bad energy and keep you inspired. Back in the day, we used to say when we got fresh albums, “like it’s no skips”, meaning you don’t need to DJ the mix, just let it ride. I pay attention to track order and track selection for my own work; shoutouts to another major inspiration, Adele, for forcing Spotify to stream albums as the artist intended and not give listeners the option to shuffle. There was a shuffle option back on my boombox now that I think back but that was mainly used for compilations albums, like Michael’s History album. From track 1, I’m That Girl to the final track 16, Summer Renaissance, Bey is all up in your face the way I love to see her. On the song, Alien Renaissance, she is shouting out the Black girl magic found in many of today’s artist, including me, Tee Slaves. It’s almost like she gives permission for us to give ourselves grace, something not usually seen or helmed outside of Black artworks. Me knowing Bey, I tried to visualize every video she probably already shot. The one she did for Disney is on my mood boast list, Black is King, helped inspire me as a creative to write different types of stories and to be brave in my creative pursuits. Renaissance, musically, doesn’t fall short of that energy, which is also a song title, which mimics a song I put out on my last mixtape, Energy.
Bey also addressed the leak. She thanked her loyal bee-hive et al for their patience and respect for her work. I thought that was pretty bold as well. She never comes across like she’s aware of who she is at the same time owning the Queendom that she reigns with effortless blackness. She put up a pic of her and her kids. She also told fans that we should take our time and enjoy the music, which we plan too do. Dance class is back in session folks, let’s all release the wiggle!