Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is just full of surprises. After months of teases on social media, it became clear that the “Homecoming” the singer was referring to in posts referred to a Netflix concert special of the same name, documenting her acclaimed performance at Coachella last year. What fans didn’t expect was for her to drop a full live album of the performance on the same day. On top of that, the Homecoming: The Live Album also comes with two new bonus tracks.
One of these bonus tracks, “I Been On,” is a studio version of a song the singer first debuted during the Coachella performance. But the other, even-more-unexpected track is “Before I Let Go.” This song is a cover of a 1981 song by Frankie Beverly and the Maze. Knowles has a surprisingly deep history with this song. She originally covered it with Destiny’s Child back in the day, though their version was never actually released. But though Knowles brought Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland on stage for a Destiny’s Child reunion during the Coachella performance, the version of “Before I Let Go” on Homecoming: The Live Album is brand new and does not feature her old collaborators. This track is produced by Tay Keith, and also features a sample of “Candy” by the funk group Cameo.
Footage exists online of Knowles dancing the electric slide to Maze’s original “Before I Let Go” at a family gathering alongside husband Jay-Z, mother Tina Knowles Lawson, and others. Lawson originally posted the video on Instagram in 2017, but later took it down.
Knowles’ new version also features a verse at the end specifically bragging about her Coachella performance: “I pull up to Coachella / And boost with the ghost fellas / I brought the squad with me / Black on black bandanas, I / Dussé and Champagne / I did the damn thing / Dirty Diana / Singing and dancing all in the rain.”
Another musical surprise on Homecoming is the track of young Blue Ivy Carter singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Because of this song, Blue Ivy now has her own artist page on streaming services, which has to be some kind of record.
Homecoming: The Live Album is now available on music streaming platforms, just as Homecoming the documentary is now available to stream on Netflix.