Every NYC Pride weekend has its own anthem — that song you can’t escape from, whether you’re marching in the parade, crawling through the bars in Hell’s Kitchen, or hopping through the clubs until dawn. And, of course, this year’s rainbow flag jam that had everyone letting their wobbles loose was Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul.”
The vibrant lead single from Bey’s forthcoming seventh studio album Renaissance (out July 29) is a fundamental step in giving house music – long the sound of the underground – a home in the mainstream. And just days before Break My Soul hit the internet, Drake released Honestly, Nevermind, an album that sees the Way 2 Sexy superstar whirl from hip-hop to house with the dancing bona fides by South African beatmasters Black Coffee.
Under the flash of a disco ball, two of music’s hardest hitters double-declared that this was the Summer of House. And as a longtime host, I’m all the way here for it.
The euphoric energy and cathartic release – both spirited and spiritual – of house music is just what a world of downcast souls needs right now. After spending the better part of the last two years dancing in our own homes — or in NYC, studios — it’s time to do it like Technotronic and pump up the jam one more time.
And while some haters may rip Beyoncé and Drake for showing their love of house — as if they’re infiltrating a secret club that even A-listers like them aren’t allowed in — it’s the ultimate co-sign for a genre, which is as much as disco before it has been kicked into the basement over the years.
Bey and Drizzy – who you can be sure are fans and students of the music as well as successful hitmakers – are both exploring the black roots of house. They represent a culture that has been largely marginalized in the gay community, also because of their history.
But as much as Beyoncé and Drake are breathing new life into house music, they’re not the first to take the genre for a crossover twist. In the early 90’s CeCe Peniston, Crystal Waters and Robin. S. all scored top 10 singles with “Finally,” “Gypsy Woman,” and “Show Me Love.” In fact, it’s Robin S.’s 1993 hit that Beyoncé samples on “Break My Soul.”
Just in case you thought Drake invented the whole concept of rappers making the move to house music, there was the hip house movement in the early ’90s – which was celebrated by everyone from C&C Music Factory with “Gonna Make You.” Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) unforgettable )”! with “The Power” to Queen Latifah with “Come Into My House”.
And let’s not forget Madonna, who struck a house pose and brought the ballroom scene to the crowds with “Vogue,” her #1 hit of 1990. Madge and other superstar divas like Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey relied on their house remixes of the likes of Shep Pettibone, Frankie Knuckles, and David Morales to connect them with hipper — and hugely influential — audiences at the clubs .
Carey was even known to go back into the studio to re-cut her vocals for her house remixes. The music meant so much to her – and its pulsating power.
Hopefully house legends like Ten City, Inner City and Ultra Naté – who celebrates the 25th anniversary of her classic Free this year – will feel a little more affection and be discovered by some new fans thanks to Beyoncé and Drake. Well, that would warm my soul.
https://nypost.com/2022/07/01/rejoice-beyonce-and-drake-usher-in-a-summer-of-house-music/ To cheer! Beyoncé and Drake usher in a summer of house music