Beyoncé Hints at JAY-Z/Solange Elevator Fight, 2021 Insurrection, Karens and More in 'Renaissance' Lyrics

Beyoncé's highly anticipated seventh studio album dropped Friday and ET is checking out some of 'Renaissance's lyrics decoded.

Beyoncé's highly anticipated seventh studio album, Renaissance, is finally here -- despite an internet leak Wednesday -- and it's making us all want to get up and wiggle! ET is celebrating the release of Bey's latest masterpiece with a look at some of Renaissance's lyrics decoded.

"Break My Soul"

The first of the house-inspired tracks, "Break My Soul" not only set the tone for the summer but the album. Released on the day of the summer solstice, the song marked the start of a new season and era with new anthems for music lovers -- whether they're BeyHive members or not!

"I'ma let down my hair 'cause I lost my mind / Bey is back and I'm sleeping real good at night," Beyoncé croons in the song, letting fans know that Queen Bey is back. "The queen's in the front and the Dom's in the back / Ain't taking no flicks but the whole clique snapped." 

The songstress even managed to include a cautionary message for her listeners looking to party, singing, "Good at night, and we back outside / You said you outside but you ain't that outside / Worldwide hoodie with the mask outside / In case you forgot how we act outside."

She also encouraged them to let their hair down and let loose, enjoying summer and life again after a tough two-plus years.

"Release ya anger, release ya mind / Release ya job, release the time / Release ya trade, release the stress / Release the love, forget the rest."


The second track on Renaissance is the self-love anthem that the Beyhive will be blasting all summer long! "Comfortable in my skin / Cozy with who I am / I love myself, goddamn / Cozy, cozy," Beyoncé sings in the chorus of the self-empowerment jam.

The song features the voice of online personality and talk show host T.S. Madison, who is no stranger to empowerment anthems. In alignment with "Cozy"s message, the song highlights Madison's beautifully vulnerable speech about the pride she has in her Black skin, hair, and identity. 

"I'm dark brown, dark skin, light skin, bеige / Fluorescent bеige, b*tch, I'm Black," Madison proudly states on the track. "I'm Black / I'm probably one of the Blackest motherf**kers walking around here / In this motherf**king place / I'm probably one of the Blackest motherf**kers in this house / I'm Black like that."

The song also shouts out the singer's younger sister, Solange Knowles. "Might I suggest you don't f**k with my sis / 'Cause she comfortable," Beyoncé sings, leading some fans to believe that she's referencing 2014's infamous elevator fight between her sister and husband JAY-Z.

The couple has previously addressed rumors of JAY-Z's infidelity on their respective albums, 4:44 and Lemonade


The fifth track on Renaissance has a lot going on even without the controversial sample! The singer references the 2020 election, America's two-party system, gun control and the mainstream rise of alt-right supremacy groups. 

"Votin' out 45, don't get outta line, yeah / Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, pick a side," she sings, referencing former 45th U.S. President Donald Trump, who was voted out of office in 2020. Known for being politically driven, Beyoncé calls for people to "pick" a political "side." 

"I just entered the country with derringers / 'Cause them Karens just turned into terrorists," she goes on, referencing the small handgun and possibly the lack of restrictive gun laws in the USA. Beyoncé is known for publicly speaking up about the need for gun control, and has been in videos pleading for reform, as well as using her live performances as think-pieces for the cause.

She also calls out 'Karens,' referring to the 2021insurrection at the Capitol building by Trump supporters, which was executed by predominantly white violent extremists.

And of course, there's the Kelis "sample" that sparked controversy before the album was even released. After an internet leak of the album made its rounds online Wednesday, a Kelis fan page claimed that "Energy" samples a song off Kelis' 1999 album, Kaleidoscope. Kelis commented, saying that she was not made aware that "Get Along With You" was going to be used on the project.

In the credits, the song is listed as being written by Beyoncé, Skrillex, Pharrell Williams, and others. It also credits a few samples used, including an interpolation of the beat from Kelis’ unforgettable song, “Milkshake."

Kelis uploaded two Instagram videos to address the issue, where she claimed that this was not the first time Bey has "copied" her. 

"So, here's the first thing," the 42-year-old singer began. "Number one, so I'm a human being so I get pissed off and I get ticked off. I'm an artist, so I am as Erica said 'I'm sensitive about my s**t.' The real beef, is not only with Beyoncé because at the end of the day, she sampled a record, she's copied me before, so have many other artists, it's fine, I don't care about that."

She continued, "The issue is, that not only are we female artists, OK? 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? Ashnikko, who's what, 20? She's a young white girl, she reached out when she freakin' like, it's just common decency. It's common decency. Especially because, as so many of you pointed out -- 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."

Kelis went on to say that Bey is just "one issue," adding that she wished Beyoncé would have just reached out to her if she wanted to sample the song.

After claiming that she listened to the track herself, Kelis posted a second video where she continued to call out the hypocrisy in the music industry, alleging that Williams, who has called for artists' rights in the past, has "never written a lyric in his life" despite being listed as a lyricist on all her singles. She also asked Beyoncé to "walk the walk" when it comes to preaching girl power and female empowerment.

She then added that she would "never do this" to another artist and asked for something to be done about the issue.

ET has reached out to both Beyoncé and Kelis' reps for comment.

"Church Girl"

Beyoncé's high-energy track about "good girls" who like to get down is perfectly punctuated by her use of samples from the Clark Sisters' "Center of Thy Will," the Showboys' "Drag Rap" and James Brown's "Think About It" featuring Lyn Collins. 

"You know we got church in the morning (The morning) / But you doin' God's work, you goin' in (Ooh)," Beyoncé sings. "She ain't tryna hurt nobody (Ooh) /She just tryna do the best she can (Ooh) / Happy on her own/ With her friends, without a man."

On Thursday, the Queen of the B3 Hammond Organ aka Twinkie Clark, took to the keys to thank Bey for including the Clark Sisters classic on her album. 

"Thanks Beyoncé for listening to my music and I hope it blesses your soul," Clark said before launching into a live rendition of "Center of Thy Will."

"Plastic Off the Sofa"

The seductive hit doesn't feature any samples, but "Plastic Off the Sofa" is leaving some fans wondering if the singer is referencing the constant scrutiny surrounding her relationship with her husband.

"Boy, I know you can't help but to be yourself around me / yourself around me / And I know nobody's perfect so I'll let you be, I'll let you be," the mother of three sings, waxing poetic about the ease of their relationship. "It's the way that you wear your emotions on both of your sleeves / 'til the face you make when I tell you that I had to leave."

"We don't need the world's acceptance / They're too hard on me, they're too hard on you, boy," she directs at her lover later in the song. "Ooh, the rest of the world is strange, stay in our lane / Just you and me and our family."

Whatever others may say, Beyoncé is sticking by her man!


The dance hit's intro samples Kevin Aviance’s October 1996 track, "C*nty," and Mike Q's November 2011 track, "Feels Like," which features Kevin Jz Prodigy.

"Bad b*tches to the left / Money b*tches to the right / You can be both, meet in the middle, dance all night," the singer croons. "Take it all off or just a little if you like, it's pure (Uh) / It should cost a billion to look this good (Oh, yeah) / But she make it look еasy 'cause she got it (Check my tеchnique)."

The track also features Moi Renee's "Miss Honey" mantra, which originally went viral in YouTube’s early days when a clip of Moi Renee performing her 1992 NYC club hit on The Sybil Bruncheon Show via public access channel began making its rounds on blogs. Renee died in 1997, but, obviously, her voice and legacy live on through internet virality.

"Summer Renaissance"

It's no surprise to any member of the Beyhive that the final song on Renaissance features a sample from the disco soul goddess Donna Summer. The album's liberated track has a callback to the icon's hit, "I Feel Love," with Beyoncé channeling the late singer's original vocals.

"It's so good, it's so good, it's so good, it's so good, it's soOoOOoo goOooOoood," Beyoncé croons in the song. "I'm gonna trust you, even though we met tonight / I'm going to take you all the way / Baby, can I take you all the way, you sexy motherf**ker?"

It's the perfect ending to Beyoncé's empowering, dance-ready, sultry soundtrack for the summer. "I'm in my bag," the singer says as the song concludes. And she is! 

On Thursday, a day before the album was slated to drop, the 40-year-old published a letter on her website, sharing some personal insight into the inspiration behind her new music and thanking the support system that "held me down" during her creative process. 

"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," Beyoncé wrote. "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."

She continued, "I want to give a special thank you to Rumi, Sir, and Blue for allowing me the space, creativity, and inspiration. And a special thanks to my beautiful husband and muse, who held me down during those late nights in the studio. A big thank you to my Uncle Jonny. He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album. Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. this is a celebration for you. Thank you to my Parkwood crew, my slab, Dream, and all of the talented producers involved. Mama, I luhhhh you. To my father, my O.G., my first teacher: you inspire me in every move that I make. I love you."

She ended the note, "To all of my fans: I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are. Love y'all deep, B."

The letter was published alongside two images, one featuring 10-year-old Blue Ivy and five-year-old twins Rumi and Sir sleeping in bed while snuggled up close to their mom, and the other showing a young Tina Lawson sitting beside Beyoncé's "Uncle" Jonny -- Jonny was Tina's nephew, but Beyoncé and her sister, Solange, referred to him as their uncle, and have spoken openly at the great inspiration he's been to them.

On June 30, just two weeks after announcing the project, the singer shared the album's cover art, featuring herself clad in a silver bikini and seated atop a horse made of mirrored tiles -- like a disco ball, and shared more of what this album means to her and what she hopes it brings to her fans.

"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," she captioned the photo. "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."

Bey ended the post the same way she ended Thursday's letter, by once again encouraging her fans to "release the wiggle."

"I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha!" she added. "And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are."

Renaissance marks Bey's first solo album since Lemonade in 2016. Before that, she released Dangerously in Love in 2003, B'Day in 2006, I Am... Sasha Fierce in 2008, in 2011, and Beyoncé in 2013.

Renaissance is available on all music streaming platforms now.



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