The Samples That Shaped Beyoncé's RENAISSANCE

The time has finally come! Six years since her last solo studio album, Beyoncé has returned, surprising and delighting fans with her celebratory explosion of dance and catharsis, RENAISSANCE.

“My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking,” Beyoncé shared with her fans about the intention and inspiration behind her new sound. “A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration.”

That journey led Beyoncé to honor and pay homage to a variety of pioneers in dance, funk, soul, house, and disco music, weaving together influences from the past to create a sound that is current, timely, and speaks to our desires to break free from the

“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,” Beyoncé wrote. “This is a celebration for you.”

Take a look at the work of the pioneers who inspired Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE below:

Track 1: I’M THAT GIRL

Tommy Wright III & Princess Loko – “Street Sh*t”

The South Memphis trap pioneer was a giant in the south throughout the 1990’s.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=_zQAxdb4LEU%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 2: ALIEN SUPERSTAR

The Foremost Poets, “Moonraker”

The DJ, who now goes by the name jOHNNYDANGEROUS, is a fixture in the New Jersey club scene and uses Funk, House, Electronic and Spoken Word to craft a unique sound.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=rb4-oOKIZQ8%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy”

Right Said Fred is collecting ALL their coins these days, as after being samples in Drake and Future’s “Way 2 Sexy” last year, they’re coming back with a cosign from Queen Bey herself. Their hit “I’m Too Sexy” was inescapable throughout much of the early and mid-90’s.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=P5mtclwloEQ%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Mood II Swing, “Do It Your Way” / Barbara Ann Teer’s “Black Theater Speech”

In their 1996 hit, the NY-based House DJ Duo used the same sample of a speech about Black Theater given by writer, producer, actress and founder of Harlem’s National Black Theater Barbara Ann Teer that Bey highlights here.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=aLPVphRDEgU%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 3: COZY

Lidell Townsell & M.T.F: “Get With U”

A Chicago House Music legend,

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=pmcGngjb0Y0%3Ffeature%3Doembed

TS Madison, “B*tch I’m Black”

Trans personality and host T.S. Madison is no stranger to internet virality. Beyoncé highlighted one of her hilariously honest rants about the pride she has in her Black skin, hair, and phenotypical features.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=l6gJ6Uxi6es%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 4: CUFF IT

Teena Marie, “Ooh, La La La”

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=JS8Aqv9zeW0%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 5: ENERGY

Kelis, “Milkshake”

Though she has made it clear she’s less than thrilled about being featured, Kelis’ impact on music is undeniable. Her 2003 hit remains in the pop culture consciousness nearly as much as it did when it first premiered.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=pGL2rytTraA%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 6: BREAK MY SOUL

Big Freedia, “Explode”

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=Pa5IV_3fVfk%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Robin S., “Show Me Love”

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=Ps2Jc28tQrw%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 7: CHURCH GIRL

The Clark Sisters, “Center of Thy Will”

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=pygEy9vuouY%3Ffeature%3Doembed

DJ Jimi, “Where They At”

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=bpE9t0JluME%3Ffeature%3Doembed

James Brown ft. Lyn Collins, “Think About It”

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=FmgJCFk_PIA%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 14: AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM

Kilo Ali, “Cocaine (America Has A Problem)”

A pioneer and purveyor of Atlanta’s signature “Freaknik” sound, Kilo Ali has a string of regional classics that have left him a hero of southern regional music.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=RaHlnFPcNx0%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 15: PURE | HONEY

Moi Renee, “Miss Honey”

The “Miss Honey” mantra 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 the blog rounds. Sadly, Renee passed away in 1997, but her voice and legacy live on through internet virality and of course, this posthumous feature with one of the biggest artists on earth.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=E3S8OLCZuRc%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Kevin Aviance, “Cunty”

Drag queen, house music artist, and fixture in NYC’s gay club scene, Aviance has performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia since the early 1990’s. Prior to being highlighted on Beyoncé’s latest, he has worked with Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston.

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=hYTuzFNZftY%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Track 16: SUMMER RENAISSANCE

Donna Summer, “I Feel Love”

Long one of Beyonce’s most direct influences, Donna Summer’s disco soul provided direct inspiration for the album’s liberated and free final track.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Nm-ISatLDG0%3Ffeature%3Doembed

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