Jamaicans Grace Jones and BEAM Join Beyoncé in her ‘Renaissance’

Nicholas Nam (Dancehall Magazine) reviews some of the new tracks of Beyoncé’s new release, Renaissance.

For her latest blockbuster release, RenaissanceBeyoncé enlisted two of Jamaica’s champions of genre-blending: the iconic Grace Jones and the rising star BEAM.

Grace Jones’s voice pierces through the track Move. From the outset, her vocals twist together with Beyonce’s, forming a thorny union that dissolves as quickly as it appears. The Slave to the Rhythm singer pops in and out of the track, delivering sticky lines like “Brukup / It’s Brukup / It’s Brukup,” a glowing reference to the Jamaican dancer George Adams who wowed spectators from Kingston to Brooklyn with his contortionist styles. Nigeria’s rising star Tems briefly joins the action, stirring the mix with her own honeyed delivery.

As the instrumental on Move blooms, the pounding bass and uptempo grooves testify that the song is nothing short of a dancefloor anthem. Beyoncé, P2K, and GuiltyBeatz are credited as the producers.  Producer Sean ‘MeLo-X’ Rhoden, who was born in New York to Jamaican parents, provided additional production including the “rudebwoy” adlibs.  He was previously credited for co-writing Sorry and Hold-Up, off Bey’s Lemonade album in 2016.

Interestingly, Renaissance‘s liner notes also reveal that Move was partially recorded at Zak Starkey’s studio in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Meanwhile, BEAM’s talent is stamped throughout Beyoncé’s Renaissance.

Beyond supplying her with additional vocals on the songs Cuff It and Heated, the Jamaican-born, Miami-bred maverick shares center-stage with the superstar on the house track, Energy. It’s a two-fold contribution as BEAM delivers his shape-shifting chorus atop the woozy instrumental that he co-produced with Beyoncé, Skrillex and Al Cres. [. . .]

Beyoncé had previously collaborated with Sean Paul on Baby Boy (2003), off her Dangerously In Love album, and with Mr. Vegas on a remix of Standing in the Sun (2014).

She has also sampled Major Lazer’s Pon De Floor with Vybz Kartel in Run the World (Girls) (2011), off her fourth studio album, 4.

In June 2020, Jamaican dancer Lenora Antoinette Stines had filed a lawsuit against Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z for not giving her credit on Black Effect, which appeared on the couple’s Everything Is Love collaborative album. Stines, who claimed that she never received any proceeds for her vocal contribution to the song, later withdrew the lawsuit in November 2020, court records show.

The tracks that feature Grace Jones and BEAM join the rest of the songs in a coordinated effort to fuel dancers worldwide. The release of Renaissance was announced alongside the lead single Break My Soul, which stirred expectations about the new direction of Beyoncé’s sound. True to the tone set by its lead single, the album taps into a wide range of club-ready influences, from Afrobeats to New Orleans bounce. [. . .] For full article, see https://www.dancehallmag.com/2022/07/29/news/jamaicans-grace-jones-and-beam-join-beyonce-in-her-renaissance.html

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