The arrival of a new Beyoncé project is an international holiday, one that requires a day off just to begin studying the myriad of references, themes, ideas, and trends that exist within it. Consider it a civic duty. Her seventh studio album, Renaissanceis no different: It’s an expansive, disco-and-dance-drenched ode to the nightclubs of the ’70s and queer Ballroom culture of the ’80s.
It’s easy to get lost in the music entirely, especially with each track bleeding into the next like a classic club mix. Renaissance is made to be felt on the dance floor—the kind of place where you can move to its melodies and lose the lyrics entirely.
But to do that is to miss the opportunity to get ahead of the curve, to start heeding the word of the all-powerful Beyoncé before everyone else can. Renaissance is a celebration—of Blackness, of queerness, of womanhood, of sex and self—but it’s also a guidebook to what’s hot and what’s not, courtesy of the trendsetter supreme herself.
With that spirit in mind, we took on the daunting task of combing through each of the 16 songs on Renaissance for Beyoncé’s word of what’s trending for the rest of the summer—or at least until part two of this three-act project drops. Consider this a more fabulous version of Oprah’s Favorite Things, or a cooler rendition of your favorite glossy magazine’s Style Report. This is curated by Beyoncé, hunny, and put into song.
Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Gives the Dance-Floor Bops This Horrible Summer Needs
Here’s a list of all the things that Beyoncé thinks we should all be obsessing over, as interpreted through the lyrics of Renaissance. They’re trending. They’re must-haves. They’re the moment. Plan accordingly.
Integrity: The chorus of Renaissance‘s opening track, “I’m That Girl,” sees Beyoncé stating, “It’s not the diamonds, it’s not the pearls/I’m that girl.” It’s here that she tells us to simply accept that, even free of the riches, she is the one. The ultimate. That girl.
Longtime fans will remember Beyoncé’s recording a cover of Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” for her campaign for Emporio Armani’s Diamonds fragrance all the way back in 2007. A high-quality version of the ad has apparently been lost to time, but the message found in this new track is clear: you are too good to sell yourself just for a fat check! You are that girl.
Ottomans: “Cozy” is a thumping, drum-heavy, triumphant song about unapologetic Black self-love, and if there’s one thing that helps Beyoncé stay cozy and comfortable in her skin even when she’s cuddled up in her four-poster canopy bed, it’s the right accessories for her home.
“Feet up above your sins, I love myself, goddamn,” she says in the song’s chorus. You heard the woman, kick those dogs up! Remaining confident in yourself can be an all-consuming task, which means that the right ottomans to rest your feet at the end of the day are a necessity. Throw in a limited edition $104 Renaissance album cover blanket and you’re ready for the coziest night of your life.
Aliens: This one is a given, Beyoncé won’t stand for any government budget cuts towards the space program. “Alien Superstar” encourages its listeners to explore space and do a little amateur alien hunting while they’re at it. After all, aliens are so hot right now; just ask Jordan Peele. The monster from Nope was a bit of an alien superstar herself.
Acrylics: Telescopes may be in, but it’s time to get rid of your grandma’s glassware. Sorry, it’s the law according to Beyoncé (“stilettos kicking vintage crystal off the bar”). It’s only IKEA drinkware for your summer turn-ups. We love a frugal queen!
Faking Your Own Disappearance: One of the hottest things you can do this summer according to Beyoncé is to Gone Girl yourself. In the pre-chorus of “Cuff It,” she echoes wishes similar to those of Rosamund Pike in the 2014 David Fincher classic, “I wanna go missing.” Perhaps she’s decided that Jay-Z hasn’t paid enough penance after Lemonade.
And again in “Cuff It,” Beyoncé encourages us to take an interest in astronomy. “We gon’ fuck up the night, spaceships fly.” What does Beyoncé know about alien life that we don’t?
Crowd Participation: You may have thought that we left doing The Wave at a sporting event in the mid-2000s where it belonged. But begrudgingly, it’s time to bring it back, as Bey has now dictated. “Big wave in the room, the crowd gon’ move,” she says on “Energy.” As long as we replace the Jock Jams with RenaissanceI’ll allow it.
A Full Night of Sleep: Beyoncé may be a record-breaking, multihyphenate superstar, but she also moonlights as a clinical sleep psychologist. “B is back and I’m sleeping real good at night,” she boasts on “Break My Soul.” Must be nice! But if Beyoncé demands, we’ll do our best to get 8-10 hours a night.
Spending Time with Your Pets: We’re entering the hazy days of late July, which means it’s time to relish that summer love. Beyoncé would like you to take your “Plastic Off the Sofa” so your pets can climb up with you while watching bad reality television. You and your pets only live once, so enjoy your time together, shedding be damned! That’s what this song is about, right?
Beach Days: When you have more money than you know what to do with, one of the more popular things to do is to charter a yacht. But this summer, Beyoncé’s trying to save a few dollars. She’s got three college funds to contribute to!
Still, she’s determined to get out on the water with her friends. “Motorboat, baby, swerve around,” she commands on “Virgo’s Groove.” She just wants to beat the heat, as we can understand when this lyric appears right before “Slow-mo coming out my blouse.” Clearly, she’s dying to change into her bathing suit! For Beyoncé, this summer is all about a fun day at the beach.
Telescopes: If there’s one running theme that emerges on Renaissance, it’s Beyoncé’s desperation to know what lies beyond this world, peering into other galaxies looking for proof of life other than our own. We heard it on “Alien Superstar” and again on “Cuff It,” and it appears one final time on “Move.”
“I’m with my girls and we all need space,” she firmly states as the song opens. Beyoncé using her influence to encourage more women to get into STEM is perhaps Renaissance‘s most admirable contribution to society.
Nurturing Your Body: There is not one part of your body that you shouldn’t love, a sentiment that Beyoncé expresses clearly on “Heated” by saying, “Dimples on my hip, stretch marks on my tits.” Show yourself without hesitation or fear. It’s hot out there, no need to suffer under a sweater.
Hydration: And speaking of heat, Beyoncé requests, nay, demands that you stay hydrated. “Drinkin’ my water, mindin’ my biz,” she raps on the outro of “Heated.” If you smile and you can hear your mouth making sounds, it’s time to go grab a glass—Beyoncé said so!
A Stocked Kitchen: Speaking of water, Miss Knowles has settled the great debate of which bottled water is best on “Thique” “Yeah this that Fiji agua, candy girl, piñata,” she says in the first verse. Throw in some suggestions about which flavors of artisanal jams to buy (“That’s that jelly, baby, champagne and cherry”) and what knives she prefers (“This that Ginsu, cut that bitch like culinary”), and your kitchen will be fully stocked for a Renaissance listening party.
Hypnosis: Call her Beyngali, because according to Master Magician Beyoncé Knowles’ “All Up in Your Mind,” hypnotism is hot! Nix the dangling watches, all you need is a little confidence and a hint of sexuality to pull your crush’s attention.
Sex Addiction: Listen, Beyoncé understands that the heat makes us all go a little crazy, and she holds space for that on “America Has a Problem.” Renaissance is a no-judgment zone, as evidenced by opening her song with “Heard you got that D for me, pray your love is deep for me.” Get a little freaky, Beyoncé will allow it.
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Saving the Bees: There are plenty of benefits to organic honey, as Beyoncé extolls on “Pure/Honey.” And if she has her way, you’ll spend this summer constructing your own beehive for self-sustaining honey production. Bees are endangered, which is why Beyoncé wrote this stunning anthem from the perspective of a bee to highlight their plight: “All the boys want my honey.”
Mugs for Tea:When you’ve got enough honey to add to your tea, might Beyoncé suggest a new phrase to get printed onto a novelty mug? “Four, three, too fuckin busy,” she sings in the first verse of “Pure/Honey.” Beyoncé may be the coolest woman in the world, but that doesn’t put her above a good mom joke.
Sustainable Fashion: So sorry to all of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, because as Bey dictates on “Summer Renaissance,” Birkins are out. What shall you carry your Fiji water, self-produced honey, and melatonin in, then? An imported Telfar, of course! In the last moments of RenaissanceBeyoncé proves that she is a queen for the people—affordable bags for everyone, her final trend dictation.
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