Laverne Cox Is ‘Beat for the Gods’ on Her Surprise Single, Inspired by Grace Jones
On Friday, a brand new Laverne Cox single dropped out of nowhere. Her pop debut, “Beat For the Gods” is a banging dance track with the actress on lead vocals. However, if you’re waiting for the album to come out, you’ll have a long wait because it’s not coming.
Where a lot of actresses have released albums — some more well-received than others — Laverne Cox has no interest in joining those ranks. In fact, “Beat For the Gods” was initially recorded as a lark. In an interview with OUT, she explains how the song came together:
‘Beat For The Gods’ happened because one day my makeup artist, Deja, who does all my makeup — she did my makeup for an event and I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Girl, I’m beat for the gods.’ … And as a joke, I said, “Deja, that would be a cute song for the kids, ‘Beat For The Gods.’” It was a joke. … I was hanging with my friend Benjamin (K. Damptey), and he’s a recording artist, and I jokingly told him I had an idea for a song. And he said, “Love, we should record this. Let’s just do it.”
In drag slang, “beat” means to apply makeup, so “beat for the gods” means to have makeup that is divinely applied.
Cox also said one of her big influences for the single was Grace Jones, particularly the single cover for “Pull Up to the Bumper.” That look was the inspiration for the boxer character in the music video. The Cox-as-Boxer character also appears on the single cover for the Laverne Cox single.
Since Cox doesn’t have a label — nor any interest in one — she was able to have full creative control over the single and the video. And, since she owns it, she’s also considering having a contest where fans can make their own videos to the song and submit them.
As she says, “I want [my song] to be a celebration of queer culture and LGBTQ club culture. This song is a reflection of my old club days in New York, and a sort of longing for that kind of situation.”