No one does it quite like Beyonce. A year after launching a set of forty new songs, live, during her Coachella performance of 2018, the morning of April 17, 2019, has seen the release of a Netflix documentary entitled Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce that seeks to tell the origin story of the famous performance. Netflix states, “this intimate, in-depth look at Beyonce’s celebrated 2018 Coachella performance reveals the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement.” Additionally, Beyonce has blessed us all mere mortals by dropping Homecoming: The Live Album, a companion album to the Netflix documentary containing the forty tracks that spanned her two weekends of performances from the 2018 Coachella festival. The album includes hidden gems, such as a special edition of the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sung by Beyonce’s seven-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, during rehearsals. The album also includes two bonus songs, one a cover of “Before I Let Go,” originally sung by Frankie Beverly & Maze, the original version of which is featured in the documentary’s closing credits. The second is a revised version of Beyonce’s song, “Bow Down,” originally uploaded onto SoundCloud in 2013 and included in her self-titled album, Beyonce, released that year.
A Historic Performance
While some may say, too much, the rest of the world says, not enough! The Homecoming documentary and album are both integral in covering Beyonce’s historic 2018 Coachella performance in which she was the first black woman to headline the music festival, originally begun in October of 1999. Beyonce took this platform to pay tribute to historically black colleges and universities, calling attention to their marching bands, dance troupes, and step teams, herself incorporating a marching band into her own live performance. Moreover, the inclusion of the song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was highly intentional as it is casually known as the national black anthem according to an article written on the event for the Atlanta Black Star. Reflecting on her feat, Beyonce stated, “the performance was an homage to an important part of African American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.”
Destiny’s Child & More
Beyonce also used this opportunity to invite former Destiny’s Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, to sing their 1999 hit, “Say My Name,” and other lesser-known songs, such as “Soldier” and “Lose My Breath,” both released on the 2004 album, Destiny Fulfilled. Other guests that joined Beyonce onstage included Latinx singer J Balvin who joined Beyonce onstage to perform a remix of his 2017 song, Mi Gente, as well as her sister, Solange Knowles, who danced with Beyonce in a symbolic performance that commemorated her start in the music industry working as a backup dancer for Destiny’s Child. Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z also made the cut, joining his wife to perform their hit song, “Deja Vu,” originally released on Beyonce’s second solo album, B’Day, in 2006. Homecoming: The Live Album includes all of the collaborations featured during the 2018 Coachella performance.