“Lemonade” Ain’t Your Mama’s Beyoncé Album!

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I know I’m late blogging about this, but due to other commitments, I wasn’t able to submit this post as quickly as I wanted to.  However, this album is so huge that despite the fact that it was released nearly a week ago, I feel the intense need to put my two cents in.

While I was impatiently awaiting the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” last Sunday, Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album was airing on HBO for the second—and unbeknownst to me—final time.  I watched parts of it, and saw where a good friend of mine was posting his hilarious thoughts on the film.  Although I was more concerned with whether or not Jon Snow was would be brought back to life, the bits and pieces I saw of the visual album piqued my interest.  I became even more interested when theories on the album’s content started going around the internet.  I’ll speak more on that later.

When I learned that Lemonade would no longer be shown on HBO, I downloaded the film and watched the piece from start to finish.  I was blown away.  I’ve seen Beyoncé happy, I’ve seen Beyoncé sad, I’ve seen Beyoncé ready to party, and I’ve seen Beyoncé insightful.  However, this is a Beyoncé that I haven’t really seen before.  This is Beyoncé pissed off.

You’d think with a title like Lemonade, the album would feature songs that would be cute and bubbly, all about love and happiness (hell, the title itself makes me want to enjoy a nice glass of my mom’s lemonade).  If you think that, not only would you be sadly mistaken, but it’d also mean that you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days.  As everyone’s heard by now, the album has a recurring theme:  a woman learns that her husband has been cheating on her, and she’s none too happy about it.  The album is definitely a dark departure for Bey.  There’s lyrics in the songs like, “Who in the fuck do you think I am?” and “Suck on my balls-balls!  I’ve had enough!”  Lemonade basically makes Beyoncé’s self-titled 2013 album look like a kid’s nursery rhyme CD.  Like the title of the post reads, this ain’t your mama’s Beyoncé album.  The new direction album takes is in no means a bad thing, however.  Pissed off Beyoncé is just as entertaining as Happy Beyoncé, if not more.  In my opinion, it shows how much range Bey has artistically, and I’m lovin’ it.  I’ve had the songs on heavy rotation on my IPod for the last few days, namely “Formation” (that’s my favorite song right now!).  Not only that, but I’ve been singing now infamously epic lyrics like, “You betta call Becky with the good hair,” and “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.”  I’m lovin’ the “middle fingers up” and “When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster” lines, too.

The film brings the infidelity theme home with profound poetry between each song that describes the woman’s inner torment and later, her path on the road to recovery.  It also features images that range from comical (Beyoncé gleefully smashing everything in her path with a baseball bat), to artsy (there’s a scene where Bey is floating in a room submerged in water), to disturbing (in the first half of the film, Bey jumps off a building).  One thing I absolutely loved about this film is that each vignette showcases the beauty of black people, whether they’re dressed in 19th century style clothing, dancing for performance pieces (Serena Williams’ dance routine was on fire!) or just hanging around their local neighborhood.  Bey also takes the time to honor the young black men that lost their lives to police brutality by having their mothers appear on the film, holding photos of their lost sons.  There’s other touching moments too, like the clip of young Beyoncé talking to her dad, all the clips of Blue Ivy, and the video footage of Bey and Jigga’s wedding.

Speaking of Jigga, the million dollar question that everyone’s been asking is…is the album really about Jay-Z cheating on Beyoncé?  Now, this isn’t a gossip blog, so I’m not gonna speculate.  At the same time, when I created this blog, I promised myself that I would keep it 100%, so I will say that the album being about Jigga’s supposed infidelity isn’t exactly far fetched.  It would explain why Solange went straight HAM on Jigga in that elevator back in 2014.  Rachel Roy clappin’ back on Instagram regarding the “Becky with the good hair” lyric further adds to the rumors.  Some of the lyrics in “Hold Up” sound a lot like Jigga and Bey’s relationship as well:

Let’s imagine for a moment that you never made a name/for yourself/A master/What, they had you labeled as a king/Never made out the cage/Still out there moving in them streets/Never had the baddest woman in the game up in your sheets/Would they be down to ride?/No/They used to hide from you/Lie to you/But y’all know/we were made for each other/so I find you and hold you down

Then, there’s the poems with lines like:

You remind me of my father/a magician/Able to exist in two places at once/In the tradition of men/in my blood/you come home at 3:00 AM/and lie to me/What are you hiding?/The past and the future/merge to meet us here

We all know that Matthew Knowles cheated on his wife and fathered two illegitimate children.  It’s possible Bey is saying that she and Jay-Z have been in the same predicament.  If that’s the case, this album shouldn’t be called Lemonade, it should be entitled Tea, because she’s servin’ it hot.

On the other hand, this may not be related to Jigga and Bey’s relationship in any way.  I mean, let’s face it.  We don’t know what really goes in their marriage.  Rihanna has even stated that she doesn’t believe the album is about Jay-Z.  It just could be a concept album about a woman dealing with infidelity in her marriage, which isn’t a farfetched theory either.  Artists make albums with a common theme all the time, and women dealing with cheating husbands/boyfriends is something that many of us out there have experienced, and it’s an issue that will continue until the end of time.  Now that Bey is a wife and a mother herself, she may have decided to dedicate an entire album to discussing how she would react if she felt her family was in jeopardy.

No matter the reason behind releasing the content on the album, there’s one thing that’s certain…Lemonade is boss.  This may be Beyoncé’s magnum opus.  Between the film, the adulterous motif, the controversy following it and the killer songs, Lemonade will be discussed for years to come.

Lemonade can be found on Tidal and ITunes.

—Written by Nadiya

So what did y’all think about Lemonade?  Is it a masterpiece, or is it overhyped?  Give me your thoughts!

 

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