Woah, well it happened.
The long awaited drop of the Beyoncé album featuring the single Formation. And she didn’t disappoint, collective black Twitter, non women of color, women of color and in particular black women went:
Her album named “Lemonade” is a continuation of “Formation”. As an album, Lemonade is Beyonce’s part autobiographical and homage to the larger daily struggle of black women, discussing feminism, racism, family, social justice.
Beyoncé released not only her songs but a visual album of her songs, with images were steeped in the Southern gothic, a nod to her New Orleans/ Gulf roots, and black diaspora history and culture, much like “Formation”.
The visual album is something of a revelation, as I wrote on this blog when “Formation” came out, it is remarkable to watch the political and personal evolution that is Beyonce Knowles.
Though Beyoncé has a lived a blessed existence due to to the mainstream success of her career, she is revealing a black woman radicalized by the events she has seen in the world, and the experiences she has lived.
In this visual album, Beyoncé tells us a LOT about infidelity, the suspicion, the jealousy, the rage, the depression, all from a very personal place.
She breaks up her visual album into titled segments, which are not the names of her songs, but the segments move the story and the songs along.
In “Intuition” segment:
“Where do you go when you go quiet…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 a.m. and lie to me. What are you hiding?
In the “Denial” segment:
“They don’t love you like I love you, can’t you see there is no other man above you, what a wicked way to treat the woman that loves you”
And while Beyoncé swings a bat cheerfully she sings:
“I don’t want to lose my pride, but imma fuck me up a bitch” and “what’s worse, looking jealous or crazy…I’d rather be crazy.”
Who WASN’T wondering what the Knowles-Carter house was like about right then?!
Some have speculated, if Beyoncé was writing this out of inspiration (and not experience) which I highly doubt because of the infamous Solange Knowles/Jay-Z fight in the elevator at the Met Gala in 2014. While her sister Solange pummeled her husband where Beyoncé just watched without being the slightest bit disturbed.
Now what do you think would make her sister who she is close with go off like that on her husband?…. RIGHT.
Because all I know is,some family member or even close friend would be slapping the HELL out of my spouse, if he even THOUGHT about stepping out on me.
In the “Accountability” segment Beyoncé gets most of the rage out of her system,
she sings about women’s empowerment, to a guitar, discussing a father (presumably hers) raising her to be a strong woman, who didn’t put up with “men like him”
In the “Resurrection” segment, Beyonce features imagery of black women and girls, and the”Mothers of the Movement”, which include the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, holding pictures of their lost children in their hands.
In “Resurrection” Beyonce channels the joy and pain that is motherhood, and the
The whole visual album features black women of different hues, ages, and hair type. There are black women in pain, in joy, in rebellion, in fabulousness. If you didn’t think the present only black women in this video and of itself wasn’t a political statement all of that left the building once you hear Malcolm X’s voice over say:
“the most disrespected person in America is the black woman”
For a little one wonders why the name of the album is “Lemonade”, but all becomes clear as you listen to the tracks and absorb visual album. It is the struggle in marriage, in family, in life, not just as a woman but as a black woman does Beyoncé channel.
Or more appropriately as Jay-Z’s grandmother says: “I was given lemons and I made lemonade”
And so is the life of many women, particularly many black women. I think like many, I’ll be listening to this album on repeat for a while.