I am the type of black woman who will sit in a drive thru and watch the new Beyoncé video the moment it drops (seriously – I did this for “Formation”) so when I saw twitter blowing up about Beyoncé’s latest album being released as a visual special presentation on HBO, I knew that I had to watch. Thank goodness for HBO free weekends. Having been a loyal, self-proclaimed member of the Bey Hive for well over a decade now, I can be a bit biased to this particular artist. Between her and my other top-tier musical love (Fall Out Boy), no wrong can be done.
No wrong was done.
Regardless of my personal adoration for all things Beyoncé or anyone else’s fervent dislike, Lemonade is absolutely stunning. This is artistry. This is enchantment. This is soul touching. Beyoncé transcends genre. She transcends what is to be known of singers. This is not just an album. It is not just music videos. This is a story for all black women from all walks of life. It is classic.
Let’s talk about the visuals because wow. From smashed car windows to burning flames to floating in water to historical garbs…I really do not know where to begin. This was an orgasm for my eyes. When she dropped her self-titled album (and I lost my mind), I never thought she would out do herself with this visual album medium. But Lemonade. Wow.
The visuals mixed with the lyrics, spoken word, and melanin of every shade makes me proud to be a black woman. This visual album has chained us all together with a spiritual link – from generations past to generations future. The subtle usage of famous black women that have been viewed negatively such as Serena Williams, Zendaya, and Quvenzhané Wallis in media was incredible. This is not about Beyoncé. Beyoncé does not want this to be about Beyoncé.
This is about all of us.
Beyoncé has fearlessly given us something truly inspirational. The dynamic lyrics and sound of ‘Freedom’ reverberate through every particle of my being. The country twang of ‘Daddy Lessons’ feels like Southern soil between my toes during the summer. ‘6 Inch’ is sexy and independent. Playful and deadly, ‘Hold Up’ will be the summer anthem – taking bets on that. I can keep going through each track because they are all pure gold.
Lemonade is unapologetically black in the best way. It is a story told by a black woman for black women. It is black empowerment.
We need this.
I break chains all by myself
Won’t let my freedom rot in hell
Hey! I’ma keep running
Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves