Since her solo debut in the ’00s, Beyoncé has been known for her visual art as well as her music. Alongside iconic videos like “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”, Beyoncé has reinvented the visual album as a popular medium of storytelling with “Beyoncé”, “Lemonade” and “Black is King”. Several artists have since followed in her footsteps, including Janelle Monáe, Halsey and even younger sister Solange. Back in 2013, the “Renaissance” singer said, “I see music. It’s more than just what I hear. When I connected to something, I immediately see an image or series of images associated with a feeling or emotion.” This quality has led to Beyoncé becoming the most honored artist in MTV Video Music Award history and even receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 2014.
But despite Beyoncé’s dazzling “Renaissance” cover art, the singer has been surprisingly light on the optics on her latest work. A companion visual album for “Renaissance” is reportedly due out at a later date, but she has yet to release full music videos for any songs on the album, including the lead single “Break My Soul.” Meanwhile, the Beyhive was hungry for footage – and while they finally got some, it wasn’t quite what they expected.
The Break My Soul (Cliquebait) video is just that
Even though the audio of “Renaissance” is already out, Beyoncé isn’t tone down her characteristic secrecy surrounding the project. A new four-minute video titled “Break My Soul (Cliquebait)” was uploaded to her YouTube channel on August 4, leading some to celebrate that a long-awaited music video for the song has finally been released. Unfortunately, the title wasn’t just a play on words. Beyoncé herself only appears for the first 20 seconds, posing on a prop horse, with an additional 20 seconds devoted to the horse before going black for the rest of the song.
Fans were quick to express their dismay to a Twitter user to kid, “Cliquebait??! The video has been reported. I hope it was worth it, Giselle,” dropping the singer’s middle name. Other wondered“I really want to know how the 3 visuals album has gone on[s] in 20 seconds cliquebait.” Amid widespread disappointment, another person pointed out that Beyoncé delivered exactly what she promised: “I mean, she said it was cliquebait.”
Although “Break My Soul (Cliquebait)” appeared to be a teaser for a full video at a later date, it was viewed more than 800,000 times in less than 24 hours. There’s no release date in sight for the official Break My Soul video or the Renaissance visual album, but having skipped a surprise audio release, it could show up when we least expect it.