An unexpected visual knockout stirred up the Beyhive when Beyoncé’s sixth studio album, titled “Lemonade,” was released April 23. The visual album surprised fans after the expected release of the audio album, which exclusively aired on HBO and Tidal.
“Lemonade” has a strong storyline about a woman’s (presumably Beyoncé herself) emotional journey after being betrayed multiple times by her husband of eight years, which some assume to mean the rapper Jay-Z. While most of her life in the spotlight has been relatively kept secretive, fans can tell that she has poured her heart into this album.
“Beyoncé became such a big deal because as a black woman in music, she found a way to make music for the masses, other than just for one type of person, or just one genre. She’s made a name for herself…. She was cheated on, broken down and lost, in which many women can relate to,” said freshman Alex Greene, who is a self-proclaimed Beyoncé super-fan.
Monica McDougal, senior mass media major, is also a Beyoncé fan, and shared why she thinks the album has become such a phenomenon.
“Beyoncé didn’t hold back when creating the album. Her fans didn’t hold back when responding to it,” Mcdougal said.
Users of social media can probably tell that there is no doubt that this is one of, if not the, most popular album to be released so far this year. Since the release, many social media posts, memes and articles have been released showing the great impact that this album has had on social media and pop culture as well as social justice organizations and women’s activists.
“When we finally got the album, [it was] this incredible visual short film that touches on so many important issues like police brutality and the treatment of black women … by including black mothers who’ve lost kids to police brutality, by including young black activists like Zendaya and Amandla Steinberg in the visual album,” Mcdougall said.
As McDougal mentioned, Beyoncé uses her power to raise awareness for the social injustices surrounding the African American community. In the visual album, her song “Forward” is accompanied by footage of the mothers of the victims of police brutality that we have seen in the news very often. These victims include Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown.
Many social media posts and memes have emerged after the release of “Lemonade,” a very popular one stemming straight from a lyric of Beyoncé’s song “Sorry.” In the last line of the song, specifically about Jay-Z’s infidelity, Beyoncé sings, “He better call Becky with the good hair.” The girl, referred to as Becky in the song, is rumored to be Rachel Roy, a New York-based fashion designer. After hearing the song, many fans took to twitter to attack Jay-Z and Roy. Some fans think that Roy offered a response to these rumors in an Instagram caption posted on April 24 said “Good hair don’t care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. Live in the light. #nodramaqueens”.
A good summarization of the album’s message can be found on actress Taraji P. Henson’s Twitter account. On April 24 she tweeted “Moral of the story… U ragamuffin men BETTER be happy w/ the #lemonade you already have! ESPECIALLY if it’s sweet OR ELSE *looks4bat”.