Renaissance features 16 songs and has appearances from Beam, Grace Jones and Tems. It is lead by the house-inspired hit “Break My Soul.” On the songwriting and production side, the album features contributions from Leven Kali, Lucky Daye, Syd, JAY-Z, The-Dream, Christopher Alan “Tricky” Stewart, and more. The album is a pure dance record and include sample credits from Big Freedia, Donna Summer, Kilo Ali, Moi Renee, The Clark Sisters, Tommy Wright III, Princess Loko, and Kelis (more on that later.)
After releasing the album, Bey wrote a message to her fans, thanking them for not streaming the album early.
“This three act project was recorded over three years during the pandemic. A time to be still, but also a time I found to be the most creative.
Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventuous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place. A place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream. Release. Feel Freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration.
I want to give a special thank you to Rumi, Sir, and Blue for allowing me the space, creativity, and inspiration and a special thanks to my beautiful husband and muse, who held me down during those late nights in the studio. A big thank you to my Uncle Jonny. He was my godmother and thefirst person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album. Thank you to all the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you. Thank you to my Parkwood crew, my slab, Dream, and all of the talented producers involved. Mama, I luhhhh you. To my father, my O.G., my first teacher, you inspire me in every move that I make. I love you.
To all my fans, I hope you find joy in this music. I hop it inspires you to release the wiggle, ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”
Hours before the album was released, Kelis publicly blasted Beyoncé and ex-collaborators Pharrell and Chad Hugo for not asking her before they sampled her on the record. (Kelis is not in good terms with The Neptunes.) She released two lengthy Instagram videos, writing in one of the captions:
“This was a TRIGGER for me. ‘Milkshake’ alone is one of the most licensed records of our generation. I am a creator, I’m an innovator, I have done more then left my mark on an era of music and style that will go down in history. But there are bully’s and secrets and gangsters in this industry that smile and get away with it until someone says enough is enough. So I’m saying it today . I’m coming for what’s mine and I want reparations.”
Stream Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance below.
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