Beyoncé dropped an "America Has a Problem" remix featuring Kendrick Lamar Friday.
In my opinion, Lamar's spot on the song was odd, given his polarizing song "Auntie Diaries."
I hope Beyoncé taps queer artists for "Renaissance" remix features in the future.
Beyoncé dropped a surprise remix Friday for her standout "Renaissance" hit, "America Has a Problem," featuring rapper and frequent collaborator Kendrick Lamar.
As a member of the Beyhive, I'm always excited when Queen Bey drops new music, but if I'm being honest, Lamar's feature was a letdown.
Beyoncé previously partnered with Lamar for her 2016 hit "Freedom," and Lamar was featured on "Nile" for Beyoncé's 2019 album, "The Lion King: The Gift."
Sonically, the two mesh and Lamar switches between a high-pitched, fast-paced flow to a slower, melodic cadence on "America Has a Problem."
However, I question why Lamar was tapped to spit a verse on the remix.
Beyoncé has made it clear that "Renaissance" is an ode to the LGBTQ community, more specifically, the Black queer community that invented house music. The "Alien Superstar" singer has repeatedly said the album is dedicated to her late uncle Johnny, who was gay.
"He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album," Beyoncé wrote in a letter to fans on her website in July 2022, according to Harper's Bazaar.
While accepting the best dance/electric recording Grammy for "Break My Soul" in February, Beyoncé thanked the LGBTQ community. "I'd like to thank the queer community for your love, and for inventing the genre. God bless you," she said.
Lamar's relationship with the LGBTQ community is complicated, to say the least. In May 2022, Lamar released his album "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers," which included the polarizing song "Auntie Diaries."
Throughout the song, Lamar discusses his complicated journey toward acceptance and hones in on two trans family members — his uncle and cousin.
"My auntie became a man and I took pride in it," he raps. Lamar then discusses his cousin, who transitioned from male to female. "Demetrius is Mary-Ann now. I mean he's really Mary-Ann, even took things further. Changed his gender, before Bruce Jenner was certain," he raps.
Though Lamar sparks an important conversation about being queer in Black communities and uses his learnings as a teaching moment for the audience, there are missteps. Lamar misgenders his family members multiple times throughout the song and repeatedly drops a homophobic slur. Lamar may have had pure intentions, but his execution was ultimately dicey.
Instead of Lamar, I would have loved to see newcomer Doechii reach new audiences with a Beyoncé feature. In March, Doechii teased what her "America Has a Problem" feature would sound like on social media. The freestyle was effortlessly fun, with Doechii using wordplay to prove that she deserved a spot on Beyoncé's beat. "D.O.E., you can not define me. Like Beyoncé, you could never find me," she raps.
I truly hope this isn't the last "Renaissance" track to receive the remix treatment. But moving forward, I'd love to see Beyoncé collaborating with members of the queer community, given they invented the genre she's experimenting with.
I'm ecstatic that Beyoncé brought house music to the world's stage, and now it's time that queer artists aren't just celebrated and sampled, but given the opportunity to take center stage.
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