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Lemonade Is More Than Just An Album For Beyoncé
By Gillan Ritchie
Beyoncé has proved that when life gives her lemons, she makes lemonade. It’s only fitting that the queen of pop’s sixth album, featuring 12 songs and an hour-long visual album, is called just that--Lemonade.
The hour-long visual album was released on HBO on April 23; for days after its release, it was all people could talk about and rightfully so. Lemonade is already topping charts and raking in more cash than any other week 2016 has ever seen.
Everybody has their own platform for expression. For me, my platform is my writing. For Beyoncé, it’s her music. There are a ton of differences between Beyoncé and myself—and probably lots of other people for that matter. The biggest difference is that Beyoncé is constantly pushing the limits of self-expression. We may not agree with it, but as an artist, she is allowed to express herself however she sees fit.
Lemonade transcends any work that Beyoncé has done previously. The hour-long visual album is worth every minute. The album is a compilation of music videos, offset by titles such as “Intuition,” “Denial,” “Apathy,” “Emptiness,” and “Resurrection.” Over the course of 60 minutes, the audience watches as Beyoncé implies infidelity and suspicion, followed by denial and anger and ending in hope and forgiveness.
It’s not a secret--write about what you know. The lesson can be applied to Beyoncé’s music. If that’s the case, is she really admitting that her husband, Jay-Z, cheated on her? Some people say that Beyoncé is just so good that she doesn’t need to experience infidelity in order to sing about it. The visual album though, exudes raw emotion and pain; her song lyrics and monologues, written by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, help the audience understand what’s really going on.
In the song “Pray You Catch Me,” Beyoncé thinks aloud:
“You can taste the dishonesty / It’s all over your breath as you pass it off so cavalier.”
Beyoncé hits the streets with a baseball bat in the song “Hold Up” where she says:
“I smell your secret, and I’m not too perfect to ever feel this worthless / How did it come down to this? / Going through your call list / I don’t want to lose my pride, but I’ma fuck me up a bitch.”
In “Sorry,” Beyoncé angrily spits out:
“He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair.”
Who is Becky? We may never know; it’s unlikely that Beyoncé would ever call the other woman out by name. However, there are speculations floating around about “Becky” and the true identity of the other woman.
In her later songs such as “Love Drought,” “Sandcastles, ”Forward,” and “All Night,” Beyoncé focuses on emotions and ideas such as reformation, forgiveness, resurrection and redemption. In the song “Daddy Lessons,” she sings about her childhood, her father, and accountability. In 2011, Beyoncé parted ways professionally with her father; sources say personal fallout happened due to her father’s earlier infidelities.
I wish I was here to give the album an amazing critique, but I’m not. I’ve never really followed Beyoncé, listened to an album beyond Sasha Fierce, or been excited for any of the “groundbreaking” work she has produced.
I’m writing about Lemonade for a different reason: to talk about how she used music to publicly announce her husband’s infidelities. I believe that every person has the right to express how he or she feel or what he or she is thinking. But I also believe in consequences. For me, I believe that there are certain things that should not be made public. Over the years, I have come to realize what is and isn’t acceptable to share publicly.
If Jay-Z did cheat on Beyoncé, it’s something that should be handled privately. By Beyoncé publicly admitting Jay-Z’s infidelities, more damage is being caused to their marriage than if they had handled the infidelities away from public eye.
This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has used music to express her feelings toward her relationship. In 2006, she released the single “Ring The Alarm,” where she sings:
“But I’ll be damned if I see another chick on your arm.”
Beyoncé is letting the audience know that she feels threatened by another woman. In the song, she also says:
“You can’t stay, you gotta go / Ain’t no other chick spending yo dough.”
Around the time that the song was released, there were rumors circulating that Jay-Z and Rihanna were getting a little too close for Beyoncé’s comfort. Using music to express her discomfort and jealousy is not uncommon for Beyoncé.
It seems like “Ring the Alarm” was a precursor for Lemonade.
So how does Jay-Z feel about Lemonade? Originally, it was thought that Jay-Z had no idea about Beyoncé’s latest project. But he shows up for her song “Sandcastles” during the hour-long visual album. She is also using Tidal, Jay-Z’s music platform, to steam her 12 new songs and the visual album. Therefore, Jay-Z had to know about Lemonade. He was also onset during the filming of the visual album and he was recently seen in New Orleans as Beyoncé kicked off her Formation tour.
This could mean one of three things: he humiliated her by cheating on her so in turn, she gets to humiliate him by publicly announcing the infidelities. Jay-Z encouraged her to release the album because music is her outlet or it’s a PR stunt.
If it is a PR stunt, then I wouldn’t be surprised. Making his infidelities, if they are real, public would drive up sales because the album can only be purchased through platforms such as Amazon, Tidal and iTunes. It can’t be streamed through platforms such as Spotify--at least not yet.
According to Billboard, Lemonade has already sold more than half-million copies and it’s aiming for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. I would call that a success considering the visual album debuted on April 24 and the actual album isn’t released until May 14.
With the early success of Beyoncé’s project, the flack that Jay-Z will get for his alleged infidelities would be worth the pay off. If it’s not a PR stunt, then hopefully Jay-Z and Beyoncé will be able to resolve their issues and move forward in their marriage away from public eye.
#Real #Lemonade #MusicIsArt #Beyoncé #ExpressYourselfDontMessYourself #ButYouStillDid #GoodJob #MysteriesUnsolved
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