Ezra, Writer

In June of 2022, Beyoncé dropped a teaser song to her new album Renaissance, titled “Break my Soul.” The song sparked something with fans new and old (including me). The song had many different opinions coming from the left and the right. Older fans thought it was odd, and most loved it. The most that I am referring to is the LGBTQ+ community, those in the Ballroom scene.

Ballroom is becoming more and more mainstream as time goes on. The first step to even being mainstream was Madonna’s song “Vogue” that came out in March of 1990. The hit single had people of all races wanting to learn the popular dance known as vogueing. Though the desire to learn quickly died down after a few months but it never truly went away.

The album name that Beyoncé dropped before the actual album came out had people thinking the new music was going to be about… the Renaissance. Yikes. But when “Break my Souldropped, it sparked a light in the Ballroom community. The instrumental behind the song featured a series of “clashes” (a sound that people dip to), which is what gave it away that that was not the vibe. Some even claimed that Bey was “stealing Drake’s flow” after the rapper dropped a similar song a few weeks prior with a similar tone and beat in the background.

Many (including myself) were now really excited for the album to come out now, claiming that “this was our time.” When Beyoncé finally dropped the full album, one song gagged us all. Not only was it good, but it featured an Icon (highest status you can be in the scene) from ballroom, one Kevin JZ Prodigy, an MC. People in the community were proud that one of our own was in the famous singer’s new album. The album itself features sixteen songs, among them are two immensely popular ones, titled “Alien Superstarand “PURE/HONEY.”  

The star claims the album is dedicated to her “god mother,” her uncle Johnny who died from complications with HIV. It was also dedicated to the pioneers of ballroom culture.

Renaissance wants to shed a light on having a fun time, loving yourself, and most importantly, black and queer transgender women. These women of our world are also some of the most endangered around us. The album is a judgement free zone, and a safe space for many young queer and transgender adults.

We all know Beyoncé is one for giving credit where it is due. People were shocked but happy that she mentioned many iconic houses (chosen families), and queer icons in the ballroom community on the album. Some of the songs include, “Heated,” andSummer Renaissance.”

Some are stating that this is one of the best albums that the singer has come out with since the album Home Coming: The Live Album made its debut in April 2019. The documentary on the album made its debut on Netflix as well. The documentary features 137 minutes (about 2 and a half hours) of the artist displaying her detailed version of her set at the 2018 Coachella Music and Arts Festival. The documentary was one of the topmost watched shows on Netflix when it came out, a favorite of the black community.

So, Renaissance hit home for her queer fans, and for her personally. Much like the definition, this was a revival of art in the queer community. Representation is key and that is exactly what she did. It brought something that was hidden from the mainstream to it. So, I say, Renaissance is most definitely IN.