On April 21, 2015, an explosive set of twelve tracks was released onto the music streaming service Tidal. Those tracks, produced by Beyonce along with other established artists such as Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd, made up her newest album Lemonade. The album presents two strong messages to the world’s music listening community.
1. Racial Prejudice In America
If you were one of the lucky viewers to tune in to HBO on April 24 at 9:00 PM, you saw Beyonce’s latest artistic feat: Lemonade (the visual album). Throughout this hour long film, along with elaborate costumes, gowns and sets, Beyonce explored racial prejudice and injustice in America. The film even went as far as to feature the mothers of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, victims of police brutality, holding pictures of their late sons. She also included an impactful statement from one of America’s most influential civil rights activists, Malcolm X.
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman,” says X is a powerful voice over.
2. Infidelity in Marriage
Various songs off the album deliver searing messages regarding cheating and infidelity in marriage. While it’s uncertain as to whom many of the tracks are targeted at or discussing, celebrities such as Rita Ora and Rachel Roy have been accused by many. Key songs to listen to that concern the topic at hand are Pray You Catch Me, a ballad hinting at unfaithfulness and initial suspicions, and Don’t Hurt Yourself, a moving anthem with powerful lyrics such as “If you try this sh*t again you gon’ lose your wife.”
Beyonce’s latest album has sparked controversy and excitement across the board. While these issues are certainly important to discuss, it’s also important to highlight the artistic excellence that’s been incorporated into this album. Beyonce captures several genres and delivers powerful songs and soothing melodies alike throughout Lemonade. The fashion choices, settings, and writing style/lyrics throughout the Lemonade film are mesmerizing to observe and deserve great appreciation. At the end of the day, it’s all just good music, and deserves to be seen that way. Happy listening.