Bey is Bae

Savannah Whitley

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Note to the reader: The following article contains language that some readers may find offensive.

 The Queen is back and bigger than ever.

Giving fans the treat that they have patiently(ish) waited for, Beyoncé finally dropped her new visual album, “Lemonade,” this past Saturday night with yet another HBO special. With all the flair of her first two docu-series — 2013’s documentary “Life Is But a Dream” and 2014’s “On the Run” tour-concert special with Jay-Z — and all secrecy of her previous self-titled album, Queen Bey did not disappoint.

 Unlike her previous visual work, Beyoncé mixed it up with her new HBO event. While “Lemonade” features 12 different tracks, “Lemonade,” the HBO series, instead featured 11 different “chapter” videos based on emotions—intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, accountability, reformation, forgiveness, resurrection, hope and redemption. The track list—“Pray You Catch Me,” “Hold Up,” and “Don’t Hurt Yourself” featuring Jack White, “Sorry” and “Six Inch” featuring The Weeknd, “Daddy Lessons,” “Love Drought,” “Sandcastles” and “Forward” featuring James Blake, “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar, “All Night” and “Formation”— intertwine with each emotion. Purposely laid out as a beautiful narrative about self-discovery, love and betrayal, “Lemonade” creates a new art form that resembles more of a motion picture feature than a full length album.

 Keeping up with her new fresh style and bad-ass aesthetic, “Lemonade” opens with the powerful feeling of intuition using the track “Pray You Catch Me.” Beyoncé’s voice ascends with the powerful visuals and even more powerful lyrics: “I tried to make a home out of you… But doors lead to trap doors. A stairway leads to nothing.” As the title implies, the video on intuition held a lot of suspicion and symbolism. The hypnotic cinematography of empty field and beautiful nature shots leaves the audience in awe and speculation.

 Getting more and more powerful with each passing song, “Lemonade” plays out each song just like a movie. Going through the emotions similar to someone dealing with grief, “Lemonade” becomes more haunting with the emotion denial using  the track “Hold Up” and anger using the track “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” With lyrics such as “Can’t you see there’s no other man above you / What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you,” and “I smell your secrets and I’m not too perfect to ever feel this worthless / How did it come down to this, going through your call list? / I don’t wanna lose my pride but I’m a f— me up a b—-,” the tone quickly turns into heated rage.

 As the series transitions through songs, the theme stays the same: betrayal, heartbreak, and acceptance. While rumors have spread about “Lemonade” being a divorce announcement, the video on forgiveness, using the track “Sandcastles,” puts those rumors to rest. Despite the lyrics “I may never understand why, I’m doing the best that I can. I tried and I tried to forgive this, but I’m much too full of resentment,” the video features Beyoncé kissing her cheating husband’s hand, showing that trust is being earned.

 Ending the experience with hope, using the track “Freedom,” and redemption using the track “All Night,” Beyoncé’s feminist side comes out for a triumphant ending soaked in self-positivity. Transitioning from the most vulnerable previous tracks, the album ends in pro-women symbolism and lyrics such as “Ima keep running ‘cause a winner don’t quit on themselves,” and “my love’s too pure to watch it chip away.”

 After Beyoncé dropped “Formation,” the political bomb disguised as a single, “Lemonade” might not necessarily be the album that the fans were expecting. Aside from the vivid visuals, breathtaking beats and memorizing self-positive messages, “Formation” is less of a prequel and more of a solid conclusion of the album, wrapping up “Lemonade” in its entirety into this unapologetically pro-self-album. Despite previous accusations and political internet ramblings, “Lemonade” is less about condemning people and political ideologies and more about lessons in honesty.

 “Lemonade” proves Beyoncé isn’t just your average popstar, she is an artist in every sense of the word. Instead of just recording a pop song to hit the charts for a few months, Beyoncé creates a concept-album that is more than meets the eye.

 With special appearances from Jack White, The Weekend, James Blake and Kendrick Lamar, this piece of artwork is not only innovative, but bends genres, creates a universe in and of itself and proves to be the most honest album from Beyoncé yet.

 Despite Beyoncé’s leading nature, she follows the rest of her peers, when it comes to releasing the album. Embracing the digital age, “Lemonade” is currently only available to stream on Tidal. In the past, Beyoncé and friends have been known for their exclusive releases on the ever-growing Jay-Z-owned streaming site, but their music always slowly makes it to other formats. While you may not see “Lemonade” on Spotify anytime soon, keep an eye out at your local record stores for some physical copies.

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