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Things We Learnt From Beyoncé After Watching Lemonade


Unless you’ve been living under a rock over this entire weekend, you would have heard or at least seen that Beyoncé flabbergasted the world by dropping her sixth studio album, Lemonade. WHAM BAM. No warning to help us prepare for the astonishment we were about to partake. By the time Beyoncé dropped Lemonade, her feverishly-anticipated new album via TIDAL, viewers were mid-way through her heart-stopping, hour-long HBO special of the same name.

Over the hour-long film, she explores matters of both past and present, from confronting Jay-Z's suspected affairs to illuminating the movement Black Lives Matter. The video is calculated and everything is a declaration, with every cameo representing something bigger.

Before its premiere Saturday night, fans didn’t know what to expect from Lemonade as only few details about it were released. Would it be a full-length music video? Some anticipated a documentary? Maybe a little bit of both? Turns out, it was a visual album presenting video treatments for the 11 new songs Bey released. How classy and ingenious is that? It features guest appearances by Jack White, James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, and the Weeknd plus samples of Led Zeppelin, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Animal Collective. Also, Ezra Koenig and Father John Misty have writing credits on Hold On.
 
Here are our chief takeaways from Lemonade:


Don’t piss Beyoncé off! Ever. She will come for you. With a bat or the wrath of all dominant, independent, women who have been cheated on everywhere. “I’m the dragon breathing fire!”, “You hurt me, you hurt yourself!” or “Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home. Today I regret the night I put that ring on.” She devotes the majority of the visual album demonstrating she’s a total badass, destroying CCTV cameras with a baseball bat suitably named ‘Hot Sauce’, driving over cars in a monster truck, horseback riding and staring you down with a backdrop of fiery explosions.


She makes angry look mighty sexy.
 The unsympathetic, disapproving almost wild look in her eyes when she is furious allows us to look into her soul and personally feel the hurt and fury of being lied to (We’ll back you up Bey). Maybe it’s the stunning ensembles in the videos and the fierce beauty looks – Queen Bey just rocks the “crazy, jealous wife” look.


Black empowerment vocalized so stylishly and profoundly. This was Beyoncé’s way of showing her love for her people, a celebration of black women’s beauty and strength in times of adversity. Bey is constantly surrounded by squads of dazzling black women, on a veranda with Zendaya and Amanda Stenberg, leading an army of striking white-clad women through the sea, on a streetcar throne accompanied by fierce dancers with “warpaint”.




Beyoncé TELLS it as it is. Honest and open about her relationship and her feelings about infidelity. We respect that because it was done in a very tasteful and commanding way. It may be a revelation for women worldwide who have been cheated on or who feel played, so that they will stand up and fight for their freedom. In spite of the alleged betrayal, Beyoncé also sings about forgiveness and working things out, "We're gonna heal; we're gonna start again," she sings, putting reports of a possible split to rest. "Show me your scars, and I won't walk away. And I know I promised that I couldn't stay, baby—every promise don't work out that way."


Beyoncé only accepts flawlessness! Lemonade was a visual masterpiece. From start to end, Beyoncé gracefully “drowns” in an baroque ballroom, striding through the city streets in a canary-yellow couture gown swinging away at glass and car windows. Circles of fire on roads surround her, as she sits in a gorgeous flowing red dress. Every scene in this film can be screenshot and used as a high-end editorial spread or framed as a piece of modern art.




We want everything she is wearing!
The visual album was a masterpiece sartorially, as it does feature a number of high-profile designers including Roberto Cavalli, Saint Laurent and even Kanye West himself but majority of the time the fashion focuses on names from designers you’ve never heard of before like the crystal body suit was made by Kuwait designer Yousef al-Jasmi, the leather cone bra by Zana Bayne, a high necked orange ball gown by Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran. Beyoncé also wore a number of vintage pieces, including her own wedding dress! One of our favourites was the floor-length yellow chiffon Roberto Cavalli number, which she wears to smash up some cars.



Genuine and honest depiction of the ups and downs of relationships. Beyoncé was unabashedly open about Jay Z’s unfaithfulness, but she does make it clear very early on in the film “You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breath as you pass it off so carefully. But even that’s a test, constantly aware of it all. My lone ear pressed against the walls of your world.” Wow. Mic drop.



Message is about LOVE at the end of the day
. Despite all the anger and resentment, Queen Bey brings it back to loving others. One of the most unforgettable moments was the last scene when a beautiful collage of moments with people Beyoncé loves most showed up. Her mother Tina’s nuptials edited with her own clips of Jay-Z and Blue Ivy playing with a football on the Superdome field and having family time in the garden.


Finally, we have to acknowledge Aunt Hattie, because in the film it features personal recordings, one of which shows Jay Z’s grandmother, Hattie White at her 90th birthday festivities back in October 2015, which is where the name for the album came from. "I was served lemons," White said during a speech at her party, "but I made LEMONADE."

 
We’ll be drinking a lot of "LEMONADE" today.

 

by: Adeline Tan