Back in 2013, Beyoncé released her critically-acclaimed self-titled record (and its accompanying visual album) in a surprise drop—and by doing so, changed the game forever. Bey may not have been the first artist to debut her latest project unannounced, though she was by far the highest-profile; since then, the model has been adopted by artists as wide-ranging as Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift, and Drake, whose latest record Honestly, Nevermind dropped as a surprise release just last week.
But for her widely anticipated seventh album, revealed in a British Vogue cover story last week to be titled Renaissance, Beyoncé is turning the tables all the way back around, delivering the kind of traditional multi-chapter promotional rollout that she all but did away with a decade or so ago. Last Thursday, the cover dropped featuring the pop superstar resplendent in an Alaïa gown and a feathered headdress, strutting atop a horse straight into her new era. (The comparisons to Bianca Jagger riding her white horse through Studio 54 were, very clearly, intentional.)
In the accompanying article, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful offered a glimpse of what that music might promise. “Soaring vocals and fierce beats combine and in a split second I’m transported back to the clubs of my youth,” he wrote. “I want to get up and start throwing moves. It’s music I love to my core.” (Sign us up.) And yesterday, the news arrived that Beyoncé would be releasing her new track at midnight ET—the early hours of the morning in Europe—and that it would be titled “Break My Soul.”
Earlier this morning, the song finally hit streaming services. The verdict? It turns out all the rumors are true: The rumors being that Beyoncé would be embracing the joyous spirit of house music, a genre pioneered by Black and Latinx communities in 1980s Chicago, and which has bubbled under the mainstream over the decades since. (One of the genre’s greatest and most authentic champions to this day, Honey Dijon, is also reportedly involved in the new record.) “Break My Soul” is a thunderous house pop track that recalls the likes of Crystal Waters, CeCe Peniston, and Robin S., featuring infectious backing vocals from the New Orleans bounce legend Big Freedia, who memorably contributed the “I came to slay” sample in 2016’s “Formation.”
Of course, Twitter erupted with joy at the release of a new Beyoncé track. Here, find the best reactions to her surprise release, whether celebrating its homage to the origins of house music—or appreciating the Bobby Fischer-level strategy of her release plan.
It feels surreal to be on the track with the Queen Beyonce once again I’m so honored to be apart of this special moment I’m forever grateful lord 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾❤️❤️❤️❤️🔥🔥🔥🔥someone please catch me 🤩 #beyonce #bigfreedia #BreakMySoul pic.twitter.com/AL8jn5lX6J
— Big Freedia 💋 (@bigfreedia) June 21, 2022
Break My Soul by Beyoncé pic.twitter.com/1qKYXFUB62
— Cocolo Minaj (@evilrashida) June 21, 2022
doctor: you only have 439 seconds to live
— jaris (@fake_jaris) June 21, 2022
New Beyoncé sounds like something I would have taped off the radio in like 6th grade so I’m obsessed with it.
— Kerensa Cadenas (@kerensacadenas) June 21, 2022
A classic roll out is such a gift, so luxurious, I feel spoiled, benevolent queen
— Bolu Babalola 🍯🌶 (@BeeBabs) June 20, 2022
Listening to Beyonce tell me to quit my job mere weeks after being laid off pic.twitter.com/Qu8fNPM1Ba
— Christina Grace (@C_GraceT) June 21, 2022
if beyoncé learned how to vogue my soul will literally leave my body.
— justus steele (@justusteele) June 21, 2022
Beyoncé clowned this mf song. Gave us VERSES AND A BRIDGE AND A PRE-CHORUS. House meets bounce with a choir stack at the end. LETS GO. I can’t wait to see this video!
— susan frm plannd parenthood. (@RickysBurnbook) June 21, 2022
Every pop artist’s post pandemic solution is DISCO and I LOVE IT
— Kim Chi (@KimChi_Chic) June 21, 2022
you want me to “get a job”? the thing that Beyoncé hates?
— Paul McCallion (@OrangePaulp) June 21, 2022
Beyoncé singing about the pressures of a 9 to 5 is camp
— Martin Scorsese's Oscar for 8 Mile (@shlynthomas) June 21, 2022
Is she telling us to quit our jobs?? Because I will, Beyoncé, I will! pic.twitter.com/K6lbMWCBoJ
— Bran. (@HeyyBran) June 21, 2022
Beyoncé on a 4+ minute anti-capitalist anthem with a thumping house beat? Baby that’s MUSIC pic.twitter.com/ZO333hhoHV
— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) June 21, 2022
beyoncé FITS house music so well. her voice. the cadence. the grandeur. 🗣️
— amorphous (@loneamorphous) June 21, 2022
— “RELEASE YA TRADE” 🤯 (@Alexzand3rr) June 21, 2022
— JOHNNY SIBILLY (@JohnnySibilly) June 21, 2022
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk