On Saturday, a miracle happened. The entertainment community took a break from their collective and purple grief over the sudden death of music legend Prince, and turned to HBO witness a special event, another coronation of a queen who already has a closet full of crowns--Beyonce's Lemonade.
The hour-long special isn't so much an extended promo for her new visual album, which simultaneously dropped on Tidal (and later iTunes), as it is a cinematic diary, a textured and stunning stream of free-form expression from a talented musician, a wife, a mother, a black woman, and an icon.
Through the kaleidoscopic shock and awe imagery of anger, redemption, fashion, poetry, rock, country, ballet, fire and lover scorned realness, one thing is profoundly clear: Beyonce just revolutionized the very concept of the music video, much in the same way Michael Jackson's "Thriller" did in some 33 years ago.
The King Of Pop preferred to break barriers as a monster in a 14-minute supernatural epic. Queen B opts to share her cathartic journey through the visceral emotions surrounding her husband, Jay Z's alleged infidelity and the struggles of being black in an America that's terrorized police brutality and Donald Trump. Her sidekick baseball bat shadily named Hot Sauce and a supportive squad of black women.
Lemonade includes a sweeping and exhaustive list of collaborators, including Jack White and Kendrick Lamar, celebrities from tennis champion Serena Williams, next-gen black stars Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, model Winnie Harlow, the youngest Oscar-nominee in history Quvenzhané Wallis, and the mothers of black men slain by police, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin.
The artistry of Lemonade--from Beyonce's audacious display of black girl magic, black girl rage and black girl beauty to the chilling soul of Warsan Shire's poetry to Beyonce's bravery to unleash such rawness—feels like a living breathing wound that heals before our eyes, thanks to a remedies of introspection, wish fulfillment, rage, tea-soaked lyrics and sick beats.
While I'd love to delve into an analysis and critique, it would take years and doctorates in Literature, African Studies and Music Theory to fully comprehend its brilliance.
Art is also meant to be interpreted by the viewer. While I may find reverence and inspiration in one vignette or song, others get a few lives in another. Lemonade is designed to be consumed, and it tastes different to everyone, especially if you're Becky with the good hair.
What does it mean to you? Check out some of the reactions to Lemonade.
Photo Credits: vibe.com; rapdope.com
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.