I live with the ultimate Beyonce fans. It’s true. They love her. All I heard about all day Saturday was… LEMONADE. So of course I had to do an article about it. I am going to be hearing about it for weeks so I might as well.
So it premiered Saturday, April 23rd on HBO as an hour long special. She teased her fans with snips of it on her Instagram with the words, “The past and the present merge to meet us here.” The visual album tells a story of what you go through when your partner cheats on you, a relationship of “infidelity and reconciliation.” The music videos are set up by chapters representing the different stages you go through at the beginning and end. It starts with intuition, then denial, apathy, emptiness, and ends with resurrection. It has a relationship plot but includes the theme of the experience of Black women. She uses Malcolm X’s quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” For that reason a lot of the settings are culturally important and representative southern life for black women from the past and the present like plantations, front porches, downtown New Orleans, swamps, etc. The videos feature herself, her daughter Blue Ivy, and other prominent black women like Serena Williams, Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, and more. The music itself has mixtures of different genres like funk, country blues, rock gospel, trap music, and a lot of piano ballads. It is a bit of a step away from what she normally does.
Beyonce was trying to make a point, I think. Musicians in general (for the most part) have messages and one of hers was one of female empowerment. There are a lot of messages in the powerful scenes and imagery. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade and I don’t think one lemon contributed to this. It doesn’t have just one theme. Sure it could be about her relationship with Jay-Z, it could be about her parents’ relationship, it could a number of things. What we do know is that she is taking a stand on the Black Lives Matter movement, that she knows the plight of the black woman in America, and that she knows people and relationships have problems but there is hope.
I recommend this to everyone. It has a little bit of everything and even if you don’t particularly love Beyonce, the messages she’s sending will do you some good. Sure, a lot of it is for black women but it is also for anyone that has been cheated on. It is mostly a story about the trials of a relationship and everyone can relate to that. And if you can’t relate to that the you would have left with some knowledge.
If you haven’t seen it and would like to, try a free trial on Tidal, and you can stream it there.