Beyoncé’s new album is a ‘Renaissance’

Entertainment

In this video grab issued Sunday, June 28, 2020, by BET, Beyonce accepts the humanitarian award during the BET Awards. (BET via AP)

(NewsNation) — Singer songwriter extraordinaire Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has returned with her seventh solo studio album, “Renaissance” Thursday.

Described as “unique, strong and sexy” on the album’s Apple Music description, the 16-track discography incorporates elements of dance ’90s house, disco, electronica, Afro beats as well as bounce vibes.

In doing so, the multiple-time Grammy winner made sure to sample legends for the sound: From tapping Robin S. and Big Freedia on the lead single “Release my Soul” and Grace Jones and Tems on “Move” to recruiting the incomparable electric/dance guitarist Nile Rodgers on “Alien Superstar.”

The direction is completely new for Beyoncé, who reveals the project was made during the pandemic as she felt both “still” and “the most creative” — insight that was shared 24 hours before the album’s release via a heartfelt statement on her website, where she also gave rare, intimate portraits of her children, Rumi, Saint, and Blue, and an old photograph of her parents.

“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 adventurous 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.”

Beyoncé

Beyoncé also reveled the album will be a teaser, as it’s only act one of three — a treat for Beyoncé fans everywhere, given her last studio album was 2016’s “Lemonade.”

Announced earlier this month, Beyoncé’s highly anticipated album did not roll out without any controversy.

According to Variety, the full album leaked 36 hours before its scheduled release, sending her highly combative fanbase — affectionally named the “Beyhive” — into a crazed frenzy reporting accounts who dared shared the unreleased music on social media. 

The planned drop counters Beyoncé’s previous moves — she’s credited with inventing the surprise album —presumably for this very reason.

Given her arguable status as the greatest living artist of our time, fans patiently waited, which made her glad.

“The album leaked, and you all actually waited,” she wrote on Instagram Friday, adding, “I can’t thank y’all enough for your love and protection. I appreciate you for trying to call out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early … I Love You Deep.”

In addition to the leak, “Renaissance” also took shots from Grammy-nominated R&B singer, Kelis, prior to its release, who claims “theft” took place, not a collaboration, when fans brought to her attention her 1999 single “Get Along With You” had been sampled on “Energy” without her knowledge.

While Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of the Neptunes are credited as the sole writers and producers of Kelis’ 1999 single, she maintains she was given a bad deal and that, regardless of if she was accredited rights for the song, a call would have sufficed.

“The issue is that not only are we female artists, okay? Black female artists in an industry (where) there’s not that many of us. We’ve met each other, we know each other, we have mutual friends. It’s not hard. She can contact, right?” She said in one of the two videos she shared on Instagram Thursday night.

“I know what I own and what I don’t own. I also know the lies that were told. I also know the things that were stolen. Publishing was stolen, people were swindled out of rights. It happens all the time, especially back then. So, it’s not about me being mad about Beyoncé,” she continued.

So far, Beyoncé nor the Neptunes have responded to the Kelis’ allegations.

With all the hype, however, “Renaissance” is expected to bring in 300,000 total album equivalent units in its first week — a stark difference from the 657,000 album equivalent 2016’s “Lemonade” brought in.

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