Night owls are truly winning. After announcing her forthcoming album RENAISSANCE (July 29, Parkwood) last week, the R&B icon has shared the first single, “BREAK MY SOUL.”
“BREAK MY SOUL” centers around a sample of Big Freedia’s 2014 bounce hit “Explode” and the Stonebridge remix of Robin S. house hit “Show Me Love.” Beyoncé further explores her ties to Black, gay communities and their music. The singer channels the golden era of diva house, characterized by the recognizable four-on-the-floor rhythm and soulful vocal samples. As Big Freedia echoes in the background to “release ya anger, release ya mind,” Beyoncé’s mezzo-soprano breaks down the door to powerfully assert, “I’m takin’ my new salvation / And I’ma build my own foundation.” It’s a fitting first look at the aptly titled RENAISSANCE, and Beyoncé shows an undeniable vigor as she approaches a new era. “Bey is back and I’m sleepin’ real good at night,” she croons, and you don’t doubt that she’s telling the truth for even a second.
This is the second time Freedia has been referenced in Beyoncé’s work, the first time providing ad-libs on the singer’s hit song “Formation” off 2016’s LEMONADE. “Once again I’m so honored to be apart of this special moment,” Freedia said on Twitter. “I’m forever grateful lord.”
“BREAK MY SOUL” has already garnered significant buzz on social media, not just because it’s Queen Bey we’re talking about, but also because it arrives days after Drake’s polarizing Honestly, Nevermind, which is the rapper’s foray into dance music. Unlike Beyoncé crediting Big Freedia’s contributions, Drake failed to credit Baltimore rapper Rye Rye on his latest album.
Beyoncé herself is no stranger to dance music and has explored it across her career. “Get Me Bodied” from her 2006 album B’Day is rooted in New Orleans bounce rhythms. Likewise, “7/11” from her self-titled 2013 album is a grimy, trap-influenced electronic dance banger. If “BREAK MY SOUL” is any indication, this next era of Beyoncé is going to be another unpredictable turn in the singer’s incredible career.
Listen to “BREAK MY SOUL” below. You can preorder RENAISSANCE here.