(Paris) Drake and Beyoncé surprised by drawing inspiration from house music from the 1990s: a revival which makes it possible to honor forgotten African-American pioneers of this current of electro music.
Posted at 10:07 a.m.
The Canadian fired first with the album Honestly, Nevermind June 17, four days before break my soul, single of the American. Exit rap or R’n’B: the two megastars play in a house register, a branch of electro widespread in European clubs 30 years ago.
“I’m a little flabbergasted: who saw this coming? “, comments for AFP David Blot, French journalist and organizer in the 90s of house parties Respect exported from Paris to New York.
“Drake with passion fruit (2017) touched a bit on house, but this is shocking, in a good way. And, Beyoncé, it’s downright “dance”, even if Training (2016) already had a bit house colors” continues the co-author of the graphic novel The song of the machinededicated to the history of house music.
The two stars are well placed in the charts, despite a sometimes rough reception. Drake was targeted on social media, amid alleged betrayal of the African-American community (where his father is from). Like this tweet: “What is this Drake album for white people? This is for EDM clubs”.
EDM, ” electronic dance music », is an expression that picks up the most commercial electro music. In the 1990s, Ace of Base, a successful Swedish group, was one of the symbols of what is also called Eurodance, an outgrowth of house music.
But Questlove, American drummer of The Roots, a veritable musical bible, has refocused the debate on its social networks, going to the rescue of “D & B”, namely Drake and Beyoncé.
The musician first denounces a “disdain” for the importance of black culture in electro. And says he is happy “that D & B are leading the charge”.
Because the history of house was also written with African-American DJ-producers.
Among musical archaeologists, for the origins of house, a city, a club and a name always come back: Chicago in the 1980s, The Warehouse, Frankie Knuckles, African-American DJ-producer who died in 2014.
The anecdote is famous. One day, Knuckles sees on the front of a bar: “Here we play house music “. He asks the person accompanying him what that means: “That’s the music you play at the Warehouse, Frankie!” »
At the time, club regulars met at the “House”, short for Warehouse. Knuckles said modestly: “People didn’t want disco anymore, we gave them another music”.
In fact, by mixing several pieces of music, Knuckles rids disco of its artifices, injects a heartbeat groove and a slamming rhythm.
Knuckles, a name fallen into oblivion in the United States, like those of other of his peers, Ron Hardy or Marshall Jefferson.
“In the United States, this music has long remained indifferent, no doubt because of the links with the black, Latino, gay communities of the scenes of New York, Chicago or Detroit (techno, for this city)”, adds David Blot, voice of the Radio Nova station in France.
In break my soulBeyoncé samples a standard of dance music 90s, Show Me Love by Robin S. The future album of “Queen B”, Renaissanceon July 29, will it be entirely house?
The album will in any case sound very club, according to the indexes of the magazine vogue, the only media that could listen to the disc at Beyoncé. For the shoot, she wanted to evoke “the garage scene of the 90s” and the “excesses of the 80s”, according to vogue.
Garage house is a musical branch that refers to Paradise Garage, a mythical New York club of the 70s and 80s where Larry Levan (who died in 1992), an African-American DJ, Knuckles’ mentor, officiated.