Invitation to a Better Kind of Party: Renaissance by Beyonce

This article is written by a student writer from each campus of the ASU chapter.

renaissance Written by Beyoncé it’s a feat of imagination, daydreaming about partying in a pandemic, capturing the feeling of thinking about all the places you wished you could go while you were stuck in the crib. Beyoncé’s seventh album is not just a pop star’s immaculate dance record, but a rich celebration of club music and its sweaty, liberating spirit. She finds escape, rebirth, community, joy, and control in decades of dance music steeped in Black queer bravado.

When the pandemic hit, Beyoncé captured the thing her fans missed most: the uninterrupted joy of gathering together in the club, turning faces and sweating as a collective entity. As our biggest pop stars increasingly turn to dance music for inspiration, Beyoncé focuses her renowned work ethic on the nuances of club culture for a challenging, densely-referenced album that echoes her Revolves around like-minded, billboard-charting peers.

He dedicated the album to his “godmother” Uncle Johnny, who died of complications from HIV, and “the pioneers who started the culture… the fallen angels whose contributions went unrecognized for too long Is.”

For nearly a decade they have made pop music on their own terms, unbothered by the dusty dictates of the music industry, and pointed toward their intended audience; Pop fans now lean towards Beyoncé, not the other way around. All 16 songs belong somewhere on the dance floor – nightclubs, ballrooms, strip clubs and basements.

renaissance It’s about bodies swaying under strobes, naturally in the dark; sexual agency; And black, gay and trans women who are the most politicized and most at risk among us. Since physical activity was necessarily constrained during pandemic isolation, the disruptive effects of ignoring became both harmful and liberating. renaissance This is a prescriptive prescription that should be considered again without judgment. Listening to the album, you can feel the synapses coming back together one by one, enjoying the unfamiliar sensation of feeling good, even if only for its hour-long duration.

Dance music necessarily focuses on the immediate present – ​​the seconds ticking away during the masterful act of unfolding on the dancefloor – but it thrives on the fluidity of sampling, respect for the old, and the reimagining of classic sounds to invent new ones. Is.

The amazing “Pure/Honey” single brings together decades of ballroom, sampling ’90s club hits by drag icons: Kevin Aviance’s hit “Cunty” from 1996, and Moi Renee’s “Cunty” from 1992. Miss Honey”. An excerpt from the 2012 track “Feels Like” by HBO’s Famous Ball DJ and DJ MikeQ Famous, and Kevin Jays Prodigy, ball commentator and musician, whose vocals – “Cut to the feminine what” – lead the song. It’s years of history in just one song and just a magnifying-glass example of the methods Beyoncé uses. renaissance To put some respect on the names of these club legends.

There’s another history present in the album’s title: 100 years ago, when things were pretty rough for black Americans – lynchings, “race riots” across the country – and flying from the South to the North seemed like a good substitute for murder. Was staying. In Harlem, Ellen Locke and Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes and Aaron Douglas and Jesse Fawcett, to pick five figures, were at the center of an explosion of art that was as frivolous, party-hearty, and vulgar as some of the things on it. It is possible Album. Its actors were gay and straight and everything in between. The point is that they even call it the Renaissance. It maintained and provided happiness and excitement despite the surrounding crisis, it gave people looking for a home something that felt like home. New salvation, old foundation.

renaissance Beyoncé has been reinstated, and she’s confident her fans will be up to the challenge. She’s 40, as society at large begins to write off female artists (and women in general) as creatives who still have something to offer, but she refuses to submit to it. Makes it impossible to ignore yourself. “I’ve been up, I’ve been down,” she sings on “Church Girl,” “Felt like I was moving mountains/I found friends that made fountains cry.” It’s the album’s most mournful moment, and then, in full Beyoncé fashion, she comes back with even more determination: “I’m gonna love me. No one can judge me except me.” It’s a sublime, beautiful, deceptively simple moment. She extends a diamond-encrusted, gloved hand – an invitation to a better kind of party.

(Tags to translate) Beyonce

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