“Before I Let Go” by Beyoncé
Beyoncé’s “Before I Let Go” is actually a cover of a song that was originally released back in 1981 by a band called Maze. Although the original did not chart very high, it still became an enduring classic in the African-American community. In fact the Maze version is apparently a Knowles’ family favorite, and Destiny’s Child also did a cover of the song back in 1997 (which was never released). Thus seemingly “Before I Let Go” has long held a place in Beyoncé’s heart.
Bey’s version is mostly a faithful rendition of the Maze original with the exception of her (Beyoncé) creating her own third verse. When the track was originally penned, it was meant to reflect what was going on in Frankie Beverley’s (the leader of Maze) love life. And while what he was going through (having a lover recently pass away in a car accident) is not the same as Beyoncé, there are some noted parts of the song that can be applicable to her life also. For instance, the section where she is praising her lover can be applied to her husband, Jay-Z. Additionally the segment where she is lamenting over the pain they caused each other can also be applied to Jigga, specifically his well-publicized cheating on Beyoncé.
As for Beyoncé’s new third verse, it begins with her recognizing the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (upon which the album this track is featured on is based) and her Blackness. But for the most part, it is inspiring the listener, particularly females, to dance.
And on that note, it is most likely that Beyoncé did not choose to cover this due to its aforementioned original meaning. That track did become a favorite amongst African-Americans primarily due to its sound, not necessarily its lyrical content. And that is also what likely appealed to Bey, though in the process she has made it a more-overt dance song.
Facts about “Before I Let Go”
- Beyoncé and five other songwriters are credited with writing her version of this classic. The other five writers are: Frankie Beverly, Jerome Temple, Tay Keith, Larry Blackmon and Tomi Jenkins.
- Aside being a co-writer of this track, Beyoncé also is credited as a co-producer. And why is she a co-producer? Simply because she produced it along with music producers Derek Dixie and Tay Keith. The latter is also credited as a co-writer of the track.
- “Before I Let Go” was released on April 17, 2019. It appears as the 39th track on Beyoncé’s fifth live album titled Homecoming: The Live Album.