LEMONADE, A drink best served cold

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, well this time it came in the form of a tall ass glass of LEMONADE. Now I am not, nor have I ever been the biggest Beyoncé fan, but I swear she has been growing on me long enough to at least become a seasonal member of the ‘beyhive’. In February, she snatched our edges with ‘Formation’ and then decided to come back for our SOULS two months later… and apparently Jay-Z’s as well. Bey was CLEARLY not joking when she had Big Freedia on ‘Formation’ talking about ‘I did not come to play with you bitches’. She came and spilled all the goddamn tea for the world to see with her latest album entitled ‘LEMONADE’.

Lemonade has everything from excellent cinematography, a beautiful wardrobe, dope cameos, eclectic music, positive messages, artistry, and just the right amount of petty sprinkled on top. Here are some of the lines that seemed to stand out the most:

“ I got Hot Sauce in my bag”

We had already heard this in ‘Formation’, but it wasn’t until last night that we learned  ‘Hot Sauce’ was not a condiment, but the name of her fucking BASEBALL BAT to whoop a bitch with… *gasp*. I don’t know about you all, but I was not ready. I actually do keep hot sauce with me on many occasions, but I probably won’t be saying it. It’s got some real crazy connotations now!

“Becky with the good hair”

At this point we realize that Bey is fresh out of fucks to give. She’s dropping nicknames and hints like bombs and all we can do is wonder ‘who’ or ‘how many’. The plot thickens and we are all left looking like the deer in the damn headlights. I’m also going to go ahead and project a major decrease in children with the name Becky as Queen Bey has now made that the most loathsome name in the world!

“You ain’t married to no average bitch boy, you can watch my fat ass twist boy, as I bounce to the next dick boy”

Pause, because I am STILL clutching my pearls at this line 12 hours later!

Like many of you, I almost fell out of my damn chair when these words were uttered. I am glad that it appears that they will move past whatever indiscretions occurred, but let’s face the facts; enough of us have been lied to and cheated on that this shit was hilariously cathartic. It felt good to see her busting up shit with a baseball bat when those were the exact same emotions you may have felt at some point. Or the thought of being able to publically embarrass your partner for their actions that publicly embarrassed you. We are even allowed to secretly cheer on the idea of revenge sex, because after all, most women immediately want to hurt their partner the we were hurt (even though rarely acted upon). Many women can understand the petty joy felt across the world at the threat of sleeping with another man (which we know is hurtful, because for some reason cheaters still seem to loose their minds over it, in spite of their own behaviors). We know she has been with her husband for over 10 years. In the rap game, this would have been the equivalent of ‘shots fired’. However, the power of her doing this was in its duality. She is being the voice to many women who may feel this way and go through similar experiences, while artistically warning her own husband in response to his infidelity. Nice Job, B.

“ The most disrespected person in America is the black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the black woman, the most neglected person in America is the black woman”Malcolm X quote

Our society still very reflective of this, from misogynistic music and imagery to everyday interactions that we see in our communities daily. So this stood out as a call to action for our brothers and our men to step up. To care for us the way we need to be cared for and protected. Now if YOU by yourself are doing that, that’s great, but I’m not talking about on the individual level. We are talking about as a whole. You being an ‘awesome’ man doesn’t mean much if you can’t say to your boy, ‘Hey, stop treating your woman like shit, she doesn’t deserve that’. This audio clip speaks to what is needed to re-build our communities and familial structures as well as healthy/respectful relations between black men and women. The more you all step up as a collective, the more we will naturally step down with the over aggressive ways of operating. Just make us feel safe again.

Bey is also very unapologetic on her stance about Black lives. There are even clips of the mother’s of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Mike Brown holding photo’s of their slain sons. One of the BEST things about this album is the emphasis on black femininity, black beauty (in all forms), black love, and the resilience of black women. Since slavery, we have been dealt a very harsh hand. We have had  to overcome so much pain and adversity, and we have always been able to do it by supporting one another. That ideology of true sisterhood and our natural ability to take something sour and make it sweet is what has carried us this far. No matter what type of pain, we have always been there to heal one another. This theme was prevalent throughout.

“When Life gives you lemons…”

 The album is cleverly titled LEMONADE and shows that no amount of fame of fortune will exempt you from some of the painful aspects of relationships and the human condition.  It tells a story that can be directly related to her, but also millions of women (specifically black women). It takes you on a journey of the various stages and emotions connected to a lover’s infidelity and the healing and forgiveness it takes to move towards reconciliation. Now, while my ex can remain under whatever rock he climbed back under, I applaud the raw artistic honesty it took to create this body of work. You can tell she had to deal with certain painful places to get to where she is today as an artist, mother, wife, and woman. The result is simply amazing. Also, as someone of Louisiana Creole and Naija lineage, I loved all the subtle spiritual references and imagery, but I simply do not have the time or energy to touch on all of that right now. Let’s just say that African magic and Ancestor worship is real, and Bey gets it.

I’m sure Kanye is sitting at home just like me thinking LEMONADE should get ALL of the AWARDS! If you haven’t seen the visual album, make it your business to. It’s not everyday you get to vicariously see what it feels like to be a black woman.

Beyoncé is an artist who is constantly scrutinized, has had to work incredibly hard, even during the most painful times (miscarriage, public family and marital issues), yet still holds her head high and operates with class. She is literally the epitome of the old adage, “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”… or an album if you’re Beyoncé.  A nice lemonady ass album, with lemons picked from the Fruit Tea Shade Tree Company.

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