A new Beyoncé album is an event in itself, but to have a song with the iconic Grace Jones? And with Tems, whose voice has been all over 2022? That’s something very special, and fans found out for themselves on July 29 when they heard “Move” after Renaissance officially hit streaming services. A celebration of feminine energy, the chorus goes: “Move out the way, I’m with my girls and we all need space / When the queen’s come through don’t try like the rest say / Move out the way, how many times have I said? / It’s a home run when the team turns this.”
While Bey’s vocals add a touch of silkiness to the track, Ms. Grace Jones shines with her regalness while Tems brings that afrobeats edge on the track. “Move, move, move, move / Yeah, you gotta move, move / Anything you do / Will be held against you / You have to move, move, move, move / Skrrt off, make room / Stampede coming through / Big boss on the move,” per Genius.
Beyoncé unveiled the track list for Renaissance on July 21 when she showed off the vinyl pressing on Instagram and TikTok. Fans slowed down the video to see three name features – Grace Jones and Tems on “Move,” and dancehall artist Beam on “Energy.” Fans also went digging through the source code on Apple Music’s page for Renaissance to discover some of the contributors (per Complex). Apparently, the album features a who’s who of hip-hop stars: Jay-Z, Drake, the Neptunes, Syd, The-Dream, No I.D., Hit-Boy, Mike Dean, 070 Shake, Skrillex, Tems, Big Freedia, Labrinth, Lucky Daye, Raphael Saadiq, BloodPop, and AG Cook. There were evident samples of Donna Summer, James Brown, Teena Marie, Giorgio Moroder, and Twinkie Clark, further pushing the idea that this is a dance album, through and through.
Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” Beyoncé wrote in a social media note that accompanied the cover art’s unveiling. “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. 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.”
Renaissance is technically Renaissance Act I, and Beyoncé said that this was the start of a three-act project. So, it’s likely that Acts 2 and 3 will arrive before the year is over.
Act I’s rollout began with the release of “Break My Soul,” Beyoncé’s first single from a solo studio album in six years. The song has steadily been climbing its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Ahead of Renaissance’s release, the song had reached No. 7. Beyonce’s first TikTok was a collage of fans vibing out to “Break My Soul,” and Ms. Knowles included a message to all her fans: “Seeing y’all release the wiggle made me so happy! Thank you so much for all the love for BREAK MY SOUL.”