this LEMONADE isn't for you

Since the release of Lemonade, I don't really care to discuss anything else in my life. I don't care if I have a really hard midterm this week because I'm locked in my room playing '6 Inches' at volume 100.  

If you're anything like me, though, you do care about the online publicity that the album is getting. Beyoncé is a feminist black woman—the representation of a person who usually doesn't get catered to by the media (or anything else, really). When Lemonade dropped, the media went ahead and spun it's own interpretation on what the album represented in Beyoncé's life.  

 

 

Vanity Fair's coverage of the piece is as follows: "On Saturday, Beyoncé responded to years’ worth of marital speculation with Lemonade, an explosively honest album in which she lyrically accuses husband Jay Z of lying, cheating, and taking her for granted."  

After the release, they posted an update to their article, which details Beyoncé's follow up activities like her tour and merchandising.  

Why, as a culture, are we more interested in Beyoncé when she is just an extension of Jay Z's arm? Why wasn't our focus immediately on her album's creative spin on her experiences as a black woman?

Here are a couple feminist points to put this album into perspective for everyone: 

 

 

The album wasn't for you. 

When the emphasis of this point was made the first time after Beyoncé's performance at the big football game, a lot of people were offended. Why? Why is it so offensive for a black woman to write music for black women only? You can still enjoy the album if you don't place your own white patriarchal interpretations to the production of Lemonade.  

 

The album wasn't about Jay Z. 

Okay, it was a little about Jay Z. But it wasn't entirely about Jay Z. As a feminist, this album was about staying strong as a woman in a world that tries to put me down for any of my identities that don't align with a social norm. This album was about me putting my 6 inch heel into the eyes of those who have made me bleed, cry, or suffer. Jay Z is only relevant insofaras he's the persona who breaks the hearts of women everyday.  

As Lemonade was released, I only saw a few articles that detailed the complexities of the album. Rolling Stone had this to say about Lemonade: "Beyond 'strong' and 'magic,' Lemonade asserts that black women are alchemists and metaphysicians who are at once of the past, present and future, changing and healing the physical, chemical and spiritual world around them."  

 

What if we lived in a world where black women were allowed to heal without the media's backlash or ignoranance/complacency? 

 

 

 

Beyoncé's values are not the same as the public's values.  

Aside from the ignorance of the social and political roles that this album represents for feminists, there is a big question left about the economics of the album. Why did she put it on Tidal? Why are artists like Kanye, Jay Z, Rihanna, or Beyoncé producing on a platform that deviates from Apple Music, Spotify, etc.? 

Consider this: Beyoncé doesn't care about the money. She's a feminist who cares about the cause for women around the world. She's making music for her exclusive fan; so it makes sense that she'd release Lemonade on Tidal because it's another filter for exclusivity. If she wanted to make a huge profit from this album, she would have done another secret release through Apple Music. But she already saw her success from that when she released her self-titled album in 2013.  

 

So what can we learn from Lemonade?

After listening to the album through your free month trial of Tidal, you can see by now that the album had more to say than the media gave it credit for. You might also be able to see the injustices in our society and how they manifest through the use of social media and the internet. Start sharing content that is filtered through a lens that's similar to your own. The Rolling Stone article had a lot more positivity to share than the Vanity Fair article. Be critical about the information you're consuming because it could mislead you.