My wife and I weren’t even planning on buying HBO until Sunday, so we can catch that Game of Thrones. But once Beyoncé’s name starting blowing up in my texts and social media, we were like, “let’s go ahead and start this subscription a day early because clearly Beyoncé has something she wants to say to the world and who are we to not lend our ear.”
And I have to admit, I fell asleep about 40 minutes in. I was tired, just getting back from a business trip, and my son was going a mile a minute. I just put him down for the night minutes before my wife and I pressed play on “Lemonade.” I felt a little guilty when I woke up five minutes later, realizing I missed something crucial. I ran it back early this morning. Because that’s what you do when Beyoncé has your inbox going nuts. That’s what you do when you wife, or your sister, or your mother, or your daughter has something to say to you that you miss or don’t quite understand. You ask them to run it back so you truly understand what they wanted you to know.
After re-watching “Lemonade,” I was able to understand why it connected.
And I’m not here to judge her form of artistic expression. I’m not here to deconstruct her symbolism or visuals. I’m here to bask in the most current final version of Yoncé’s expression for the people. At this point in Beyoncé’s life and career, she knows her every move is under a microscope. If she sneezed at a restaurant, it would be on TMZ within 10 minutes of the next news cycle. So any media she purposefully releases is crafted. And I firmly believe “Lemonade” was no exception.
My wife and I sat in silence as we were washed in purposeful visual and meticulous imagery. It was a story so many women know. So many people know. Betrayal. Emptiness. Hope. And hopefully Redemption. It was every woman’s story. Too many. It was also simply a human story. Told through Beyoncé’s eyes. Joined by so many other women at her side, it was impossible to not take notice of the power—or prowess. As usual, Beyoncé was making a statement. But anyone, who has Serena Williams kindly reminding everyone else of how to correctly execute the twerk, is clearly making a statement.
She made me want to understand it. I felt she was giving voice to the millions of screaming voiceless. The screaming tale of betrayal too common to wedded women, who once smiled on their wedding days with all the hope that they would never live that story.
Long before many artists ever reach the Beyoncé-level status and influence, they drop some cliché third album titled some derivative of Evolve or Evolution. We’ve witnessed Beyoncé’s actual evolution from teenager, young professional, business woman, global icon, wife and mother. She’s documented her journey without throwing it in our face that she’s growing up—and now with “Lemonade”—actually grown. Not only is she grown as a person and a woman, but as an icon who’s aware what she does and says makes a difference. “Lemonade” much like “Formation,” chooses sides. She is standing for her marriage, her music, her family and every woman who has the audacity to hope for something better in their own lives. The hope for justice served, the hope of a tranquil home, the hope of safe children, the hope for a voice.
And it was past hope.
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It was staking a claim for what should be.
BMWK, what were your thoughts on “Lemonade?” Do you agree that it was a glimpse at her maturity or something else?