Give Beyoncé Lemons and She’ll Give You A Visual Album

Abigail Adams

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It’s no surprise that Beyoncé loves to keep her fans on their toes. She randomly posted what looked to be a trailer for some sort of project she had been working on called “Lemonade.” Was it a movie? A music video? A preview of her new album? Well, you guessed it. It was all of the above.

Saturday night marked the night that Beyoncé dropped her latest album Lemonade, her return to the music scene since her surprise self-titled album back in 2013. An hour long movie premiered on HBO featuring cinema-like scenes with impeccable editing and musical composition. Not only was she the star of the show, but also the Director and Executive Producer of the production.

Lemonade, the movie, was split into several parts, all featuring the 11 new songs off the singer’s new album. Each segment was one word, holding a strong meaning (Intuition, Anger, Apathy, Emptiness, Accountability, Reformation, Resurrection…etc.). The Queen herself gave a poetic reading before each one; her voice was strong at times, and weak at others as she recited bible-like verses with her added Yoncé sass. Throughout the visual experience she was seen underwater, falling off buildings with grace, standing in symbolic formation, swinging a bat through a neighborhood smashing cars, draped in fur in a graffitied parking garage, and more. One could not predict what was next in this mini musical film.

One of the biggest questions running through fans’ minds after watching Lemonade is: Is Jay-Z cheating?! The singer gives explicit hints throughout the entire project saying things like, “Are you cheating on me?”, “They don’t love you like I love you,” “If you try that s*** again, you gon’ lose your wife,” “Here lies the body of the love of my life whose heart I broke without a gun to my head.” WOAH, BEYONCE.

Her famous rapper husband does make a debut in the music video for “Sandcastles,” where she sings about forgiveness and the hefty promise that marriage is. This isn’t the same couple we saw years ago caressing each other on the beach in “Drunk In Love.” For some reason, they look much older together, like their love is seasoned and not as fresh as it used to be.

Beyoncé not only challenged the ideas of commitment and marriage, but gender norms as well. On the song, “Daddy” she sings about how her father made her tough and wanted her to be a fighter. Under the section “accountability” she says, “Your mother is a woman and women like her cannot be contained.” Striking images of powerful women flood Lemonade from start to finish. Each one glares into the camera with an overwhelming sense of nonchalant confidence—something that truly becomes an art form throughout the film.

I had an idea of what Beyoncé’s new music would be and this is not it. This is better. Her B’Day days are so far behind her, it’s astonishing. Lemonade proves her stance on femininity and power in today’s society. Beyoncé proudly stands as a female icon for these exact reasons. She was able to move herself from girl group pop star to hip-hop singer to a solo musical artist in the most graceful way possible. She can still make a hit and she can still leave a message for the world to see and hear.