Saturday night, Beyonce debuted her new album “Lemonade” to the world, or those lucky enough to catch it on HBO. With her sold-out tour dates approaching, and only one song released, “Formation,” “The Bey Hive” was more than anxious to hear this new music. I was lucky enough to catch the visual album debut in person with three other lovely women, of varying ages, in my life. And of course, a group chat with more of my girls was on and popping. Sooooo, we had a full panel tuned in.
Visually, the concept went over my head a few times. It was moving fast, the TV wasn’t loud enough, and the kids were having too much fun in the next room. So, there were a lot of distractions going on. It went from confusing to dark to scary in a matter of minutes. The narration was definitely a form of spoken word, which some people have the ear for, and some people (like me) need to read it on paper to snap along. BUT, in between those visual mind f*cks (pardon my language), some beautiful music with some powerful lyrics were peeking through. Slowly, the visuals began to paint the picture that matched the lyrics. And by the end of Lemonade, chilllllllleeeee, Beyonce had evolved right before our eyes.
Before, we continue, let me put my disclaimer ( #1 ) in now:
I am a not in the Beyhive. I have always liked Beyonce’s music, but Sasha Fierce, UGHHHH, just didn’t do it for me. There was no theme, it was just all over the place for me. It wasn’t the “Dangerously in Love” or “Bday” B I was used to. She slowly won me back with “4,” and I was back on board for her self-titled album: “Beyonce.” I’m still a little reluctant each time a new album drops. Sasha Fierce looms in the back of my mind like that one nightmare you just can’t forget. LOL.
Disclaimer (#2) – Lemonade is not for everybody. In fact, it’s already gone over some of yall’s heads. If you think this a call for chicks to bash men, and join in formation to leave half a** boyfriends all over the world. Click X at the top right.
To me, Lemonade, was a symbolic, detailed journey of what women go through at some point in their 30s. Your 20s are really all over the place, you’re still getting settled in life, and having fun along the way. By 30, you have an idea of who are you, and who you want to be around you, but you are still figuring things out along the way. Your relationships change the most in your 30s. Your single friends who were available at 26 and 27, are now married or with kids. Your oldest friends may have now become your most distant friends, and as much as you thought you would never make new friends, you did, and now you have new best friends. Even your love life changes. You may be 2 years into married life when you cross the 30 threshold, or you may be divorced 5 years in. You may be taking the steps closer to marrying the one you love, but not quite there yet. Frankly speaking, your life is constantly moving after 30. So if you don’t get the message of Lemonade today, don’t worry one day you will.
Now, it’s debatable if this is about HER real life or not, and honestly, it doesn’t matter. What Beyonce has given us is a WHOLE album slash 12 step SELF HELP guide for dealing with hurt and forgiving the one who hurt you.
You don’t need a cheating husband to get the message. If you have ever had a friend betray you, if you have ever watched your parent(s) or loved one go through the trials of marriage or an unstable relationship, if you have ever left yourself vulnerable to someone else who took advantage of that, and hurt you. Lemonade is free therapy for you.
Let’s take a song by song look through this guide. A therapeutic evolution, you can call it, for anyone who has been emotionally vulnerable in a relationship and hurt. If you haven’t heard the album yet, this isn’t going to make a lick of sense to you, but keep reading anyway.
Phase 1 – Confirmation
Track 1 – Pray You Catch Me – The feel that something funny is going on. You just need SOMETHING concrete to confirm your suspicions.
Track 2 – Hold Up – The wait a minute, this isn’t a coincidence, this is starting to look like a pattern. Do you really think you will find somebody that loved you like me? That accepted all of your MANY faults like me? When you had nothing and nobody??
Phase 2 – Angry with a side of You got me effed up
Track 3 – Don’t Hurt Yourself – “THE NERVE of this person” aka “You had me mistaken for … “ aka “ I am NOT the one” aka “You don’t want me OUT here.”
Track 4 – Sorry – I’m doing me, I don’t have time to entertain your BS, number is BLOCKDT, and/or your phone calls are sent to VM.
Phase 3 – Reflections
Track 5 – 6 inch Heels – The clouds break, and today the sun is shining. I don’t need you, you need me. Always Remember.That.
She stack her money, money everywhere she goes
She got that Sake, her Yamazaki straight from Tokyo
Oh baby you know, she got them commas and them decimals
She don’t gotta give it up cause she professional
Track 6 – Daddy Lessons – Replaying advice given to you by family or friends, they tried to warn you but you didn’t want to see it. You WISH you would have listened.
Phase 4 – What does all of this really mean?
Track 7 – Love Drought – Can we work this out? Will you hurt me again? Am I done done or lightly done with you?
Ten times out of nine, I know you’re lying
But nine times outta ten, I know you’re trying
So I’m trying to be fair
And you’re trying to be there and to care
And you’re caught up in your permanent emotions
All the loving I’ve been giving goes unnoticed
It’s just floating in the air, lookie there
Are you aware you’re my lifeline, are you tryna kill me
If I wasn’t me, would you still feel me?
Like on my worst day? Or am I not thirsty, enough?
I don’t care about the lights or the beams
Spend my life in the dark for the sake of you and me
Only way to go is up, skin thick, too tough
Track 8 – Sand Castles – Should I give you another chance? I’m not sure I want you out of my life just yet.
We built sand castles that washed away
I made you cry when I walked away
And although I promised that I couldn’t stay, baby
Every promise don’t work out that way, oh, babe
Every promise don’t work out that way
Track 9 – Forward – I’m willing to give this another try, BUT …. We can overcome this, we can move forward, TOGETHER, BUT are you in it with me?
Phase 5 – Forgiveness
Track 10 – Freedom – I want to be free from the dark cloud hurt has left in my life. I’m ready to break free and start fresh, because I want it, and because I deserve it.
Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move
Freedom, cut me loose!
Singin’, freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
Cause I need freedom too!
I break chains all by myself
Won’t let my freedom rot in hell
Hey! I’ma keep running
Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves
Track 11 – All Night – I’m taking you back, you’ve shown you have changed. But it’s going to be on my terms. But I do love you, and I need some time.
They say true love’s the greatest weapon
To win the war caused by pain, pain
But every diamond has imperfections
But my love’s too pure to watch it chip away
Oh nothing real can be threatened
True love breathes salvation back into me
With every tear came redemption
And my torturer became a remedy
So many people that I know, they’re just tryna touch ya
Kiss up and rub up and feel up
Kiss up and rub up and feel up on you
Give you some time to prove that I can trust you again
I’m gonna kiss up and rub up and feel up
Kiss up and rub up and feel up on you
Phase 6 – I love who I want. How I want. It’s my life. Live Yours.
Track 12 – Formation – This was the first track to be released but it is great as the last song on the last of the self help guide. I’m going to live my life by my rules, people are going to whisper, but SO WHAT. If you can’t accept it, then you can’t accept me.
Look at all that therapy Beyonce gave you for free. You might stay in a certain phase or on a song longer than others, and that’s OK. There is no time limit on healing, and no expiration date on forgiving someone that has hurt you.
Again, we can dispute if this is from her life or just another marketing tactic by her camp. Or we can take it and appreciate it for what it is: feel good music that you can relate to, that can carry you through a situation, and make you feel good about yourself again.
You know, kinda like taking the lemons life gives you, and making lemonade.