Full disclosure: I finished watching the full hour-long visual album of Beyonce’s Lemonade five minutes ago and I had to get up and shake myself out.
I’d been gripping the edge of my desk for the full hour and I don’t think I blinked. Also, my throat hurts, like I think my jaw dropped at the beginning some time and I never closed my mouth again.
The 5 best bits:
- Serena Williams twerking in the fourth track, Sorry.
- When the camera pans to mothers holding portraits of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Trayvon Martin – three of the young men whose deaths fueled the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
- Bey dancing along the street happily smashing car windows with a baseball bat asking what’s worse between “looking jealous or looking crazy?”
- Jay-Z kissing Bey’s ankles while she’s singing a song that is so emotionally-charged that she’s crying out.
- Bey rapping/yelling “Suck my balls!”
Were you were waiting for a reason to try Tidal? Because this is it. Are you wondering how Beyonce could possibly level-up from how badass and invigorating Reformation was? Because she can and this is it. Do you want to take an emotional journey through gothic southern USA with an African-American queen as your guide? Who wouldn’t!? Get your popcorn, grab a drink, make sure you’ve got a good speaker system, and buckle up.
But you have to promise me that you will sit down and watch the whole thing! The. Whole. Thing.
The full visual album is a modern masterpiece. A lot has already been written about the first half being about Jay-Z cheating on Bey. Not gonna lie – it’s vitriolic and the videos that accompany the lyrics make it difficult to find an alternative interpretation. The thing that’s bugging me about that though, is that all these people on the internet are rambling on what they think Lemonade is “about” and whether or not it’s “about” Jay-Z… If there’s one damn thing this work is “about” – it’s Beyonce.
I mean, as a white woman, I could never understand what Lemonade feels like to watch or connect with as a black woman. The struggles, journeys, and triumphs of African-American women is a constant theme though! To harp on about how it’s about Jay-Z is way too shallow for what we’re dealing with here. Bey’s personal journey takes us on a trip through the generations that came before her. It’s in the lyrics and it’s in the panning landscapes, the hairstyles, and the cast. There’s even a snippet from Malcolm X saying: “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.”
Now that I’ve mentioned the meaty part of what I admire about Lemonade, I want to finish with what I just really LOVE about Lemonade.
It’s so beautifully filmed. Each of the 12 tracks are a totally different vibe! I laughed in Hold Up and then I cried in Sandcastles. How many actual movies make you both laugh and cry these days!? The hairstyles are amazing. The costumes and outfits are awesome. Beyonce let’s us in to see a whole new side of her and I legit feel blessed.
Beyonce’s Lemonade = the apex of Queen Bey slaying.