Written by Shalikah Walters-Watson
Sunday morning I was in my bed daydreaming, letting the world go by and as I went on my phone I saw that Beyoncé had released her new album ‘Lemonade’. So, like most people that morning, I found the link within the space of 30 seconds online and turned the visual (mini film) album on which had all the songs with a lot of visually and poetically stunning interludes. The funny thing is, for some reason I had it in my head that the album would be about romance and love, since she is married with a beautiful child to Rapper Jay-Z and they haven’t had much bad press about their relationship recently. So I got comfortable and smiled, ready for a typical R&B/Pop album.
But actually, no. Beyoncé had me in for a shock. That Sunday morning I went on an emotional journey with Beyoncé reading deeply into every work she sung or said. I was in shock at how artistic she had become. I could rave on about how amazing and well done the visual albums poetry, art, performance, costume, set design and casting was but I would have literally been writing for weeks… but really it was jaw dropping.
The album Lemonade wasn’t just a set of amazing songs with great choreography, lighting and direction. It was something much more than that. Lemonade focused on love, relationships, heart break, anger, resentment, black women oppression, dishonesty, denial, and even forgiveness.
Beyoncé is known to keep her personal life extremely private and we hardly even know as viewers what she’s genuinely like as a real living person but with this album she opens up her diary to the world and does not hold back one bit!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve listened to Beyoncé my entire life and of course she’s always amazing. However, I wouldn’t say I’m part of Beehive. I’m not a hard core fan. I’ve never seen her live, I’ve never bought an album of hers since she left her former R&B group Destiny’s Child and I’ve never really cared much for her relationship with Jay-Z. But I must admit… This Album had me getting in ‘formation’.
The reason she created such an uproar from fans and viewers interested was because she shows real feelings and vulnerability in this album and it really is a big milestone for her career. She tells us exactly how bad things have gotten for her, she shows themes of suicide, murder, envy, jealousy, anger and betrayal through-out the whole album and at the end shows that she’s still a classy, faithful and forgiving woman in the last track with her family happy on the road to recovery like other American marriages. She could have showed everyone a fake, dramatized story of her being independent and divorcing her husband for cheating on her, but she didn’t. She showed the truth. She showed us that her life is no different from many of ours. She is still human, she is a woman and she is still in love with her husband and will forgive and support him. I love that she did this because it shows us that everyone is entitled to make their own decision and I respect her for that. Through her passion, creativity and talent she shows the real Beyoncé, a real story and what type of woman she really is. Many critics have said that the album doesn’t show strong feminism, but it does. It shows that no woman should care about what anyone else thinks, and that we all have a choice on how we live our lives. Some people give up on broken relationships and find better ones and some people stick through them and hopefully resolve their problems.
Her visual album also features many strong black women in America such as Serena Williams, the globally famous tennis champion and the album interludes focus heavily on women oppression, slavery and solidarity with outstanding poetry by Warsan Shire. The album has beautiful musicality, mixing different music genres such as R&B, Soul, Rock and Funk and it is definitely going to go down in history as a pop phenomenon.