Beyonce, or Queen Bey, has once again thrown the music industry into disarray with her brand new visual album ‘Lemonade‘. While ‘Beyonce’, her 2013 surprise album, broke boundaries with a pre-made video to match every song, sold 450,000 copies in its first 24 hours of release and peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200, we have a feeling that the 3 year wait for her newest work, as well as the controversy surrounding it, will mean even bigger things for Lemonade.
While the release of ‘Beyonce’ introduced us to the non-apologetically feminist and sexual Beyonce, ‘Lemonade’, introduces us to yet another, incredible version of the performer. Formation, its music video and her controversial performance of the song at Superbowl 50 gave us a taste of what to expect from the (as of then unannounced) album. While we knew that she would focus her energies on racial tension and weigh in on the political issues affecting so many people in the states we had no idea we would be given so much more.
The question everyone is asking is if the album is auto-biographical and if so, who the hell did Jay-Z cheat on Bey with?! ‘Becky with the good hair’ is on everyone’s lips – mere hours after the album was released with an hour-long visual on HBO and then as a body of work on Tidal, Rachel Roy Instagrammed a picture with the caption “Good hair don’t care”. The Twittersphere and Instagram users alike took this as an admission of guilt have gone pretty much insane! With a lot of fingers pointing to Rachel Roy, a fashion designer who also happens to be the ex-wife of Damon Dash, Jay-Z’s former friend and business partner, she has had to turn her social media accounts to private in order to avoid the onslaught of abuse.
There have forever been rumors surrounding the marriage of two of the most powerful figures in music, including references to an affair with Rihanna, however there has never been as much personal insight into their relationship like this. While several of Bey’s songs have referenced their relationship, it is generally just a few lines here or there, never an entire album! So, do Becky and the album explain that infamous elevator scene way back in 2014 when Bey’s sister Solange all-out attacked Jay and Bey didn’t intervene?
It seems to look like it might be an explanation of types! In terms of the musicality of the album, ‘Lemonade’ has been touted as Bey’s best work to date; it is not only an extremely personal work, with references to the social and political issues that affect so many people in the States, and the world over, but there are riffs and melodies that bring us back to the Southern States and remind us of Bey’s upbringing in Texas. Her vocals are, as always, flawless while her lyrics are catchy and thought-provoking.While it was only released this past Saturday (the 23rd April), there are already signs that the star is going to dominate the charts in 2016.
Lemonade is a painful, liberating, and proud experience not to be missed, regardless of whether you’re interested in her personal strife or not. Queen Bey is still at the top of her game, and only raising the bar for those struggling to keep up with her. If we were Jay Z we would be in hiding or doing some serious making up. Don’t mess with Bey – “women like her cannot be contained”.