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New Beats for Bey

By Linda Cheung

Through her current tour and the release of her latest album, “Renaissance,” Beyoncé’s use of house embraces a culmination of decades of dance-music history. Some believe she has helped to propel house into mainstream pop and grant visibility to the Black and LGBTQ+ communities in the process.

“My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment,” Beyoncé said in a message to her fans. “A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.”

Originating in Chicago’s underground club culture by DJs and music producers in the 80s, house is a genre of music characterized by its deep baselines, pulsating rhythm, 4/4 time signature and tempo of 120 beats per minute. Many fans of the genre feel that house gives a sense of empowerment. By the late 80s, house spread beyond Chicago’s underground clubs to other cities such as New York and London and gradually gained mainstream visibility.

“The house genre definitely used to be a lot less popular back in the 80s than it is now, as it was originally mostly heard in rave scenes,” junior Guranaad Kaur said. “However, in the last twenty years, the combination of house with more EDM-style music made it much more accessible to the general population.”

Source by Sabeena Ramdarie

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Beyoncé’s newest album gained immense popularity on the Billboard 200, debuting at No.1 upon its release on July 29, 2022. “Renaissance” returned to Billboard’s Top 10 Album Sales Chart following her multiple Grammy wins. The album was so successful that tickets to the Renaissance World Tour went on sale in February 2023 and sold out almost immediately. Songs from the album have a total of 181.2 M views.

“I loved ‘Renaissance,’” Kaur said. “There wasn’t a single song that I wanted to skip as you could tell that so much love and effort was put into each second. As a fan of house music, it was so wonderful to see a mainstream artist make music in this genre with gorgeous vocals and unique beats. ‘Renaissance’ is easily in my top three most listened to albums in the past year, and I’m excited to see what’s next.”

Many fans feel that Beyoncé’s use of house throughout her album helped to propel the genre into mainstream music. As a result, the recognition of house as a genre also grants recognition to the Black and LGBTQ+ communities who were pioneers of house.

“I’d like to thank the queer community for your love, and for inventing this genre,” Beyoncé said in her 2023 Grammys acceptance speech.

“Beyoncé crediting the queer community in her Grammy speech makes the origin of the music so much clearer for newer house fans,” Kaur said. “As many more musicians incorporate house beats in their music, oftentimes the origins of this genre are lost on the general public. Her acknowledgement and gratefulness for the LGBTQ+ people’s role in her (and many other musicians’) success is part of a larger widespread acceptance of the community.”

“I think Beyoncé’s place as one of the most well known artists of our time makes her voice a very far-reaching and important one,” senior Paul Wang said. “Therefore, her recognition of and support for the queer community is certainly very impactful. Beyoncé’s voice could be especially helpful to young queer people, particularly at a time when their identity is either being attacked or erased in many of their schools throughout the country.”

Ultimately, Beyoncé’s use of house throughout her latest album helps to advance the genre into mainstream pop culture, which simultaneously grants visibility to the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. Beyoncé’s status as a global cultural icon makes her voice especially influential at a time of social and political turmoil for the queer community.


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