Fans were already prepared for Wednesday to be an unofficial Bey-day. We knew that April 17 marked the release of Beyoncé’s new documentary Homecoming, which would include a full version of the singer’s 2018 Coachella performance (aka Beychella) along with a behind-the-scenes peek to let us revel a little more in the historic headlining show. But Beyoncé has always been a master of the surprise release, and we should’ve known that she’d have an extra gift up her sleeve this time, too.
Early Wednesday morning, Bey capped off the Netflix debut with an accompanying live album, also called Homecoming, that includes two fresh bonus tracks: “Before I Let Go” and “I Been On.” Neither track is totally new—”Before I Let Go” is a cover of a 1981 song by Frankie Beverly and Maze, and “I Been On” is an alternate studio version of the Beychella song—but for fans, new Beyoncé is a cause for celebration.
As it turns out, “Before I Let Go” isn’t totally new to Beyoncé’s orbit—nor to, as Essence put it, any “cookout, not a wedding or family reunion in Black America”. Variety reports that the song was once included on the Instagram of Bey’s mother, Tina Knowles, in a video post featuring Bey and Jay-Z dancing to the R&B song at a family gathering. The post was reportedly taken down in December 2017. On top of that, a different cover of the song was recorded by Destiny’s Child in 1997, though the track was never released and bootlegged versions have only become available in the years since the group broke up. In addition to being included on the album, Beyoncé’s new rendition of “Before I Let Go” also plays over the closing credits of the Homecoming documentary.
The full Homecoming album divides Beyoncé’s two-hour-plus Coachella concert into 40 tracks, including older hits like “Baby Boy” and “Crazy in Love” alongside Destiny’s Child songs “Soldier” and “Say My Name,” which she performed with former bandmates Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. Though in the past some Beyoncé releases have at first become exclusively available on Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal, Homecoming: The Live Album was released across major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.