LEMONADE: Beyonce What’s It Mean?

Well it’s been a long two days waiting to get my hands on Beyoncé’s exclusive, only available on Tidal and/or HBO (not HBO Canada) exclusive visual album. Did I mention it was exclusive?  Finding out on Saturday night that my HBO Canada subscription wouldn’t include Bey’s LEMONADE visual album. Um, I’m sorry what? I pay for a service and I can’t even watch what I’m paying for? Well let’s just say I didn’t pay for the version I got to see, so I’ll leave it at that. However you guys end up watching it, just watch it, it’s amazing. But HBO Canada I’m really disappointed in your service.

lemonade,beyonce lemonade,beyonce visual album
Beyonce-LEMONADE

Anyways, let’s get into this visual album bey bey, because I have to say it was more beautiful than I could ever imagine. What did I imagine LEMONADE was going to be? I thought it might be a documentary- Bey did drop an HBO documentary a few years ago so I was hoping for another one. Some people assumed it was going to be a music video, but I expected it to be longer than a 4-6 minute video, and it wouldn’t make senese for HBO to just premiere a music video. It had to be big.

And it is big, it’s big in a different way. I don’t think the music on this album will be bangers, I don’t think the songs are t-shirt worthy, it’s not like ‘baby boy you stay on my mind’ it’s more like ‘baby boy I will cut you if you cheat on me again’. So it has a lot of anger, it has a lot of pain, it has a lot of introspective poems that tie the tracks together.

Right off the top I loved the poetry, and I was really impressed by Beyoncé’s narrations until I found out that the poems were actually written by a Somali-British poet named Warsan Shire.

Beyonce’s music flows fluidly with Shire’s poems, and there’s a real transformation from the beginning to the end. She’s angry at first, she feels betrayed, and then by the end she feels resurrected, reborn. At first you’re all excited because it sounds like she’s letting you into her personal business with Jay. But as you keep listening she’s really singing about how all of us deal with pain, betrayal, love, happiness. It’s the process of healing yourself, trying to make the lemonade from the lemon.

Here are some of my favourite quotes:

“I don’t know when love became elusive.  All I know is no one I know has seen it….”

“I tried to change, closed my mouth more, tried to be softer, prettier, less awake. Fasted for 60 days, wore white, abstained from mirrors, abstained from sex, slowly did not speak another word… I grew thickened skin on my feet I bathed in bleach and plugged my menses with pages from the holy book, but still inside me, coiled deep, was the need to know… are you cheating on me?”

“So what are you going to say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me? Here lies the body of the love of my life whose heart I broke without a gun to my head. Here lies the mother of my children both loving and dead. Rest in peace my true love who I took for granted. Most bomb p*ssy.

“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 3am and lie to me. What are you hiding…

And then a little more optimistic Bey…

“Ten times out of nine, I know you’re lying. But nine times outta ten, I know you’re trying / So I’m trying to be fair. And you’re trying to be there and to care”

“My grandma said nothing real can be threatened. True love brought salvation back into me. With every tear came redemption. And my torture became my remedy.”

And the real meaning behind LEMONADE:

“Take 1 pint of water, add a half pound of sugar, the juice of 8 lemons, the zest of half a lemon, pour the water from one jug into the other several times.  Strain through a thin napkin.  Grandmother, the alchemist.  You spun gold out of this hard life.  Conjured beauty from the things left behind. Found healing where it did not live.  Discovered the antidote in your own kitchen.   Broke the curse with your own two hands.  You passed the instructions down to your own daughter.  Then she passed it down to her daughter.”

What did you guys think of the movie and the music?

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