Trans icon TS Madison opens up about being sampled on Beyoncé’s new album
Trans icon TS Madison shared what it was like for her “B***h I’m Black” video to be sampled on Beyoncé’s Renaissance album.
Beyoncé collaborated with and sampled a host of queer and trans Black artists – including Madison, MikeQ, Big Freedia and Kevin Aviance – for her latest masterpiece of an album.
Madison is featured on the album’s second track, “Cozy”, which includes snippets from the Drag Race guest judge’s “B***h I’m Black” video. Her impassioned video is woven into the track with Beyoncé’s enchanting voice and a hypnotic beat.
Madison told Essence that she received an email from a record label “maybe six months after the [‘B***ch I’m Black’] video was out” but didn’t immediately realise it was Beyoncé’s team reaching out.
“But it just said ‘Madison, this is a powerful piece that you did on YouTube, and we’re interested in sampling fragments of your voice for a record’,” Madison said.
“I was like ‘Okay, well how much you got?’ So we figured it out so I still owned the rights.”
TS Madison explained it wasn’t until a few months later that she realised the sample went to someone working with Beyoncé on her Renaissance album.
“A few months later, I ran into someone who was working on Renaissance, but I didn’t know what the project was at the time,” Madison recalled. “So we’re sitting down to eat in LA and he says, ‘B***h, your voice sounds amazing on this track that’s coming up’.”
She continued: “And I was like ‘What are you talking about?’ He said the ‘B**ch I’m Black’.
“So I asked which album and he told me he couldn’t say, but they played it in Croatia and the people who heard my voice, everybody went insane.
“So I just laughed and moved on, but by process of elimination — this was an international artist who is known for standing in their Blackness — I thought it might be Beyoncé.”
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Madison said she finally twigged that it was the “Alien Superstar” singer reaching out when she finally sat down, read the emails and “got the numbers” from the team on the other side.
“It was like a number and then zero, zero, zero, zero, zero,” Madison said. “Then, not only were there all these zeros, but it said per cent of streaming and a per cent of pure sales. I was like, ‘OH, THIS BEYONCÉ!’”
TS Madison praised Beyoncé’s inclusion of LGBTQ+ voices on her album. She felt the singer “really sat and watched” the entirety of her iconic video and used it to inform the song.
“So much of the lyrics, so much of the things she is talking about…if you know anything about my life and my story you know it runs parallel,” Madison said. “My interpretation of it, it speaks specifically of Black trans women. It’s a song about self-determination.”
TS Madison and Honey Dijon, a renowned DJ and a producer on “Cozy”, made history with the help of Beyoncé. The pair are the first Black trans women to land a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, according to Essence.