Album of the Year
This summer, Beyoncé released her album, Renaissance. I initially ignored its release because I wasn’t feeling the first single, ‘Break My Soul’. When the full album dropped, I headed to Twitter to see what folks had to say and there was a lot of chatter about ‘Church Girl’. After listening to the track multiple times and then playing the entire album, I immediately decided it was time to become a part of the Bey Hive.
I’ve listened to the entire album countless times over the last six months and I’ve even made a couple Facebook posts about it. For me, this album is what I needed after three very long and hard years. The lyrics are in your face, even raunchy at times, and Beyoncé has no qualms about dropping the f-bomb in the hit, ‘Cuff It’. Even the intro starts out with a strong, “These muthafuckas ain’t stopping me”. She also pays tribute to all of the LGBTQ fans who have helped sky rocket her career.
When I think about the unapologetic duality of ‘Church Girl’ and the obvious ballroom influenced ‘Alien Superstar’, I laugh. Beyoncé is saying all the things I’ve been censoring myself about. Things I can’t say because I’m a Christian. Things I can’t say because I’m respectable. Things I can’t say because of my career aspirations, political aspirations, etc. She’s saying what so many people want to say, “I can love Jesus and still drop it and I can also love and affirm my gay friends and family”.
The album is joy. It’s a letter to every woman who’s said they have to be quiet and respectable. It’s a letter to every queer person who’s had to hide and to those who are proudly themselves. It’s a letter to every church girl who wasn’t sure if it was okay not to wear a slip under her Sunday dress. It’s a letter to everyone who’s spent the last two years watching the world fall apart while praying for a sliver of hope.
It’s also a reminder. We are all complex beings who ultimately want three things in life – joy, love, and to be fully accepted just as we are.
Until next time…