/  06.16.2022

King Bey has returned. Earlier this month, whispers of a new album from Beyoncé began when she removed profile pics from her social media accounts. That was then followed by a cryptic, empty entry on her website titled “WHAT IS A B7?” Today (June 16), she confirms her new body of work RENAISSANCE, the first act in what is hopefully a series of upcoming drops from the Houston icon. Thanks to internet sleuths, we also know that the project will contain 16 cuts for fans to enjoy.

Beyoncé first spoke on being back in the studio in a 2021 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, where she opened up about her intricate recording process:

I’ve been in the studio for a year and a half. Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies. Still, there’s nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio.”

It’s been six years since Beyoncé released her sixth studio LP Lemonade, a tour de force of 12 songs and collaborations alongside Jack White, The Weeknd, James Blake, and Kendrick Lamar. That album currently stands as one of the best of all time — not only in regards to R&B, but within music as a whole. It’s success saw just as much acclaim commercially as it did critically, skyrocketing to number one and crossing the Platinum mark three times over.

Since Lemonade made landfall, Beyoncé joined forces with husband JAY-Z for the joint effort Everything Is Love in 2018. That same year also marked Beyoncé‘s headlining performance at Coachella, a set that spawned HΘMΣCΘMING: THE LIVE ALBUM in 2019. Mere months later, she produced and curated a companion album to the remake of The Lion King (titled The Gift), with a wealth of contributions from the likes of Mr Eazi, RAYE, Burna Boy, Childish Gambino, Pharrell Williams, Tiwa Savage, Moonchild Sanelly, Tierra Whack, and even her daughter Blue Ivy.

RENAISSANCE arrives July 29.

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