I Used Lyrics From Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ to Describe San Francisco

‘I’m that girl*’ — *that he/they that needed to ascribe some of Beyoncé’s best lyrics from her latest LP onto SF neighborhoods.

Like most of the Beyhive, I’ve been long anticipating the teased visual component for Beyoncé’s seventh studio album, “Renaissance.” I don’t even know how many times I’ve replayed I’M THAT GIRL (Official Teaser) and BREAK MY SOUL (CLIQUEBAIT) videos on YouTube, helping satiate my unwavering desire for Bey’s looming optics. 

Beyoncé’s worldwide tour for her latest studio album begins in less than a month; one could only hope her teased, full-length film for the project — an ode to the queer nexus that is Black Excellence and Ball Culture — will be out before she graces the Friends Arena in Stockholm.

But my mind continues to grow restless, unmanageable, and uneasy at the idea of these music videos dropping in one fell swoop without much of a hint. There’s a reason why we, as a cultural collective, know what “pulling a Beyoncé” means. She literally disrupted an entire industry in 2013.

Again: I have to give my mind something to fixate on that orbits somewhere in the Beyverse. Akin to an understimulated Border Collie, I fear I might resort to self-destructive behavior without a relevant task.

All of this is to say that… well, I laid lyrics from Beyoncé’s 16-song LP onto areas in San Francisco. Thankfully, a (mostly accurate) skeleton of SF’s neighborhoods already existed as a Google Maps template. All I had to do was fill it in with relatable lyrics and bouts of wit to produce an end product I found myself smirking at.

Here are the results, below:

  • BERNAL HEIGHTS: I’m in the mood to fuck somethin’ up, “CUFF IT”
  • BAYVIEW / HUNTERS POINT: Been down, been up, been broke, broke down, bounced back / Been off, been on, been back, what you know about that?, “COZZY”
  • THE CASTRO: Stilettos kicking vintage crystal off the bar/ Category, bad bitch, “ALIEN SUPERSTAR”
  • CHINATOWN: And I’mma build my own foundation, yeah (yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah, yeah), “BREAK MY SOUL”
  • CIVIC CENTER + TENDERLOIN: America, America has a problem, “AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM”
  • COLE VALLEY: You’re a sweetie pie, come let me eat ya, “SUMMER RENAISSANCE”
  • DOGPATCH: Nobody can judge me but me, I was born free, “CHURCH GIRL”
  • EMBARCADERO: It should cost a billion to look that good, “PURE/HONEY”
  • EXCELSIOR: I love the little things that make you, you / Ooh, the rest of the world is strange, “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA”
  • FINANCIAL DISTRICT: Bad bitches to the left / Money bitches to the right, “PURE/HONEY”
  • FISHERMAN’S WHARF: Move, move / Move right out of my life, “MOVE”
  • GLEN PARK: You sexy motherfucker, boy, you growin’ on me, “SUMMER RENAISSANCE”
  • HAIGHT + ASHBURY: This Telfar bag imported, Birkins, them shits in storage, “SUMMER RENAISSANCE”
  • HAYES VALLEY: Whole lotta texting with no conversations, “HEATED”
  • INGLESIDE: I’ll always be your secret weapon in your arsenal, your arsenal, “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA”
  • JAPANTOWN: I’m takin’ my new salvation (oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, new salvation), “BREAK MY SOUL”
  • JACKSON SQUARE: If it’s lost then make it found, “THIQUE”
  • LAUREL HEIGHTS: Happy on her own with her friends, without a man, “CHURCH GIRL”
  • LITTLE ITALY: Eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it, “HEATED”
  • LOWER HAIGHT: That cheap Spandex, she looks a mess, “HEATED”
  • MARINA / COW HOLLOW: ‘Cause them Karens just turned into terrorists, “ENERGY”
  • THE MISSION (16th): I’m one of one / I’m number one / I’m the only one, “ALIEN SUPERSTAR”
  • THE MISSION (24th): I’m crazy, I’m swearin’ / I’m darin’, your man starin’, “ENERGY”
  • NOB HILL: I’m too classy for this world, “ALIEN SUPERSTAR”
  • NOE VALLEY: I pull up in these clothes, look so good, “I’M THAT GIRL”
  • PACIFIC HEIGHTS: Wait, I hear you just got paid / Make it rain energy, “ENERGY”
  • LOWER PACIFIC HEIGHTS: I’m in demand soon as I land, “AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM”
  • PARKMERCED / SFSU: That I just got out of college / That’s that I don’t do this usually, “THIQUE”
  • POTRERO HILL: Drinking my water, minding my biz, “HEATED”
  • THE RICHMOND DISTRICT (INNER): La-la-la (release the time), “BREAK MY SOUL”
  • THE RICHMOND DISTRICT (OUTER): It stops the time, yeah, I’ll stay here for a while, “ALL UP IN YOUR MIND”
  • RUSSIAN HILL: I can be the one that takes you there, “VIRGO’S GROOVE”
  • SoMa: Freaking on the weekend, I’m indecent, let it begin (ooh-ooh-ooh), “I’M THAT GIRL”
  • THE SUNSET DISTRICT (INNER): Don’t need drugs for some freak shit, “I’M THAT GIRL”
  • THE SUNSET DISTRICT (CENTRAL): I’m gonna spouse you and make you tat your ring, “SUMMER RENAISSANCE”
  • THE SUNSET DISTRICT (OUTER): Unicorn is the uniform you put on, “ALIEN SUPERSTAR”
  • TWIN PEAKS: Boy, you can’t get no higher than this, “AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM”
  • UNION SQUARE: Like stolen Chanel, lock me up in jail, “HEATED”
  • WESTERN ADDITION / NoPa: Comfortable in my skin / Cozy with who I am / Comfortable in my skin (cozy, cozy), “COZY”
  • WEST PORTAL: You don’t need no excuse, “VIRGO’S GROOVE”
  • THE PRESIDIO: If you don’t seek it, you won’t see it, “BREAK MY SOUL”
  • GOLDEN GATE PARK: Cleanse me of my sins, my un-American life, “I’M THAT GIRL”

My favorite? Frankly, the nod to the Marina District’s affinity for Karens was *chef’s kiss.*

Leave a Reply