shaan sachdev

diva discourse: a beyoncé podcast

The only current Beyoncé-centered podcast on the web, takes deep dives into the queen's discography. Cultural critic Enzo Escober and I discuss one song per episode: its composition, music video, live performances, and legacy.

Episode six features two giddy cowboys riding Reneigh the horse through Beyoncé’s latest single, her ninth number one hit, 2024’s “Texas Hold ‘Em!” We talk about our Houston girl’s longstanding country credentials and the colorful but fraught relationship between African American musicians and Nashville tastemakers. Needless to say, we pay tribute to the song’s forefather, “Daddy Lessons,” and lasso in special guests, including Ray Charles, Reneé Rap, John Mayer, Rhiannon Giddens, and Tony Hale.

Episode five is really about the holy trinity: Beyoncé, Beyoncé, and Beyoncé. "Me, Myself & I” was the third single off her 2003 debut solo album, Dangerously In Love, and it epitomized the smooth, aching, pining R&B that defined pop in the early aughts. We talk young Beyoncé, feminist manifestos, octave jumps, and, of course, red panties. Cameos include Usher, Twista, Mario, and, best of all, Princess Diana.

Our fourth (fourth!) episode celebrates the 10th birthday of Beyoncé's self-titled album — and how she "changed the game with that digital drop" — by jumping into the engine of her chilly, sexy, vividly vehicular track: "No Angel." Cameos include Caroline Polachek, Solange, Prince, Dev Hynes, and Patrick Wimberly.

For our third episode, we take a magic ride to the disco dreamscape of "Virgo's Groove," the crown jewel of Beyoncé's 2022 album, "Renaissance." The sister song to "Plastic Off the Sofa," which precedes it, "Virgo's Groove" sees Beyoncé moving from heaven to earth, from D’Angelo to Evelyn “Champagne” King. We discuss the song's centrality to "Renaissance" as well as its live renditions on the Renaissance World Tour.

For our second episode, we plumb the depths of Beyoncé’s cavernous and (dare we say) most feral song, “I Care,” from her 2011 album 4. We talk about Beyoncé’s voice post Cadillac Records and how the song was a culmination of her newfound sensibility. Needless to say, her legendary, guitar-crushing vocal solo gets a lengthy, juicy analysis.

Our first episode takes a deep dive into the song "Blow," from Beyoncé's 2013 album Beyoncé. We talk about the song's roots in funk and disco, its evocations and innovations, its music video, and its live performances. We also discuss the industry-shattering context in which "Blow," along with 13 other tracks, was dropped without warning, and the song's reverberating effects through Beyoncé's future work.

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