Everyone is talking about it. Beyonce‘s hour-long Lemonade debut on HBO Saturday night still has the Internet buzzing. Rather than speculate about whether or not the Grammy-winning singer’s new album gave us a snapshot into her own marriage (we’ll never really know) or her mama’s former marriage to her father (still, we won’t know anytime soon), let’s use this platform to further explore important topics Lemonade addresses that at some point in time touch most if not all Black women.
- The production was narrated by Warsan Shire, an acclaimed Somalian born poet. Tennis royalty Serena Williams, as well as, actresses Quvenzhané Wallis and Amandla Stenberg also have cameos. We just appreciate the sheer #BlackGirlMagic of all this.
- As writer and EBONY magazine editor Jamilah Lemieux stated on Twitter, “Loving your Daddy and confronting the bullsh*t he did to women (especially your mother) at the same damn time is…whoo. Difficult and important.” The scenes of Mathew Knowles playing with his granddaughter are profound. As hurt/disappointed/ashamed as Beyonce might be concerning her father’s infidelity, she’s letting us know that her daughter has a seemingly healthy and happy relationship with her grandfather. Working through family drama ain’t easy.
- Many modern r&b albums are full of extremes — lots of male-bashing anthems or saccharine sweet ballads about love being all rainbows and unicorns. Real relationships have layers and seasons. This album at least seems to reflect the latter.
- The imagery of Jay being vulnerable with both his wife and daughter is rare and nothing short of beautiful.
- And last but certainly not least, Black women have always and in all ways made lemonade out of lemons. Triple B appreciates the reminder for ourselves and the world.
Have you watched Lemonade yet? Listened to any of the new music from the visual album? Did you love it or loathe it? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Everybody trying to figure out who “Becky with the good hair” is. Meanwhile, Beyonce and her team are marketing geniuses! Blue Ivy eating GOOD! lol
@LaTrisha – LOL. Beyonce’s marketing team is genius indeed. And yeah, Blue’s grandchildren might be eating good if her parents continue at this rate.
The below piece is from a man named Kwabena. I saw this on FB. I do not know him. I’m sharing because his words summarize the point I was trying to drive home in the 4th bullet of this post and I appreciate that it came from a young man. And for the record, Triple B does NOT condone referring to Rachel Roy as a hoe even if that was a description he borrowed from the “Beyhive”.
Those that know me KNOW I’m a Jay-Z head.
I wrote my final research report on Jay-Z and blk masculinity for my master’s degree. This man literally gave me the exact cool and mentality that I have based my own life decisions on growing up – how I would act, talk, rap, conduct business – all of it. In fact, Jay-Z was the first artist that introduced poetry to me. True story. It was on “Blueprint 2: The Gift” at the end of “A Dream ft. Faith Evans” and the way he recited his bars without the beat had me like “OOOOOHHHH, THAT WAS DOPE!!!” That’s when I got into poetry. Unfortunately, I picked up very destructive ways in how I would engage women as well. Jay-Z made pimp culture cool (not to mention the older men in my life who modeled it before me). Pimp culture can be summed up pretty much in this – i believe women need me and exist for me. Like, a woman’s value is only as much as you can use her for. It’s such an embedded thing in my manhood especially as the very culture runs like this as well (rape culture I’m referring to as well). “Big Pimpin’” was my anthem. “I’m a pimp by blood / not relation / ya’ll be chasin’ / I replace them” was one of my favorite verses of his (though he was quoting BIG I liked it in his swag). Another thing about pimp culture is image. Image is important above all. Image to whom? To all the other men – the other pimps, hustlers, etc. It’s a respect thing, and nothing is more respected than power. The more power you have, the more respect you get, the better your image is – and blk women are just pawns in that whole game; insignificant, only as good as I can use them to be the king. Even in “conscious” scenes like activism and the arts does this play out so viscerally.“Got the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain” is another one of my favs of his because it was still pimp culture – just more seasoned. I’ve personally always wondered if marrying Beyonce was a love thang or a power move. Either way, Jay-Z was still The Pimp. The Hustler to me.
So seeing his part in Beyonce’s #Lemonade shattered my paradigm of him for the first time. It took me 2 mins on twitter to learn from this secret society called “The Bee-Hive” that some hoe named Rachel Roy had sum sort of affair with Jay-Z and this whole fiasco is why Solange went Super Sayian in the elevator.
Gossip or not – point is nothing hurts like a heartbreak. NOTHING.
When she looks at Jay Z and sings…
and your heart is broken
cuz I walked away
Show me your scars
and I won’t walk away
I know I promised that I couldn’t stay
but every promise don’t work out that way
and the way he appeared to breathe all that in as he laid at her feet had my mind blown. This is the creator of Big Pimpin! This is the guy with the hottest chick in the game wearing his chain! Now the dude I’m looking at is vulnerable – yet not embarrassed by it. He looks straight into the camera at one point like, “Yea. I got it all wrong. She doesn’t need or exist for me. I need and exist for her.”
Send all the shade to Jay Z as you’d like, but as a blk man he just portrayed a side of masculinity that fellas everywhere will be talking about and hopefully, will emulate. Definitely not the complete picture of what many are looking for, but definitely an amazing step in the right direction. Seeing the king of pimp culture humbled like that out of love for a blk woman was just…inspirational.
I’m wit ya Jay.
Wow. Now reading those last 2 paragraphs were worth the entire essay. I did not see Lemonade but I’m enjoying all the commentary on tv and reading about it. Very provocative indeed.
@Aunt Zee – Thank you for commenting! There is so much more to unpack in this visual album from the Oshun and Yemaya symbolism (it’s heavily African influenced) to the Black Southern nuances (many folks who don’t have Southern roots missed a lot in the Formation video alone) that we’ll collectively be discussing this piece of work for a long time. Hopefully these dialogues are therapeutic in some capacity.
I loved it! We watched Lemonade a couple of times. Visually it was stunning, and the message of pain, family, unconditional love and so on. Yes…a lot to unpack. I can see the college classes forming…”Lemonade and Love”. Also, thank you for sharing the piece by Kwabena.