Once again the queen has claimed her throne. That’s right, Beyoncé did it yet again. The only artist to create– not just one– but two visual albums in the last three years, making music history. This time she dropped a nonstop hour long, mash-up poetry visual album titled “Lemonade” that was streamed exclusively on HBO and Tidal.
The film combined a dream-like state of mind with the world’s cruel realities, in order to created a realistic –and fashionable—version of the American Dream. All from the eyes of Beyoncé . The full poem that was scattered across the film is written by Warsan Shire and narrated by Beyoncé like she had written it from her own hand. It was separated into themes that followed the flow between each new songs identity: intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, accountability, reformation, resurrection, hope, and redemption. Her end result—a mouth dropper— something I’ve grown accustomed to getting anytime Beyoncé does Beyoncé.
Lemonade, was inspired by her grandmother, from a short clip of a motivating speech that she was directed towards all the women attending a family gathering, “I was served lemons and I made lemonade,” said her grandmother.
Beyoncé voice sings about personal inflictions with an relentless sense of confidence, something she seems to exude on and off the stage.
This album is full of unforgiving music, aimed right at her Husband JayZ, which may have confirmed the rumors that the relationship had a troubled past of infidelity. It’s more than a mere poetic film about the ventures of love and the baggage that comes with it. It is about how it happens and the revenge that follows, especially in her lyrical references of “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and “Hold Up.”
Beyoncé may be this multi-million dollar, superstar-artist who made it big, but she still gets hurts, feels pain and struggles with real life emotions, just like everybody else. With Lemonade, this authenticity shines through. Her personal politics are declared through in-between poetic fragments. This lyrical tactic matches the very art and truth behind all her personal songs.
She takes a political stance for the Black Lives Movement and gender inequality, two issues that has been hindering this nation for generations. There was a short emotional scene that featured the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and a few other black individuals who were victimized by means of police brutality. The mothers held their sons photos with a noticed amount of sensitivity, in hopes of calling attention to the tragedy.
A few other segments during Beyoncé hour long film captured moments of same-sex couples and America’s Next Top Model contestant Winnie Harlow’s whom has a skin condition. Here, Beyoncé is challenging society to end an era of ostracizing a particular group or person.
It’s beautiful to be different. And in my opinion, this album is by far the most different form all her other work. It is relatable, out of the ordinary and honestly, a real piece of art. It calls for a revelation of sorts– a revaluation where America is currently at socially. It encourages people to look beyond what they see and ponder what life would be like if there was pure social justice among the races and among the sexes.
After somebody sees this film, it can’t just be ignored, which goes to say just how powerful it really is. No matter your race, gender, religion, this album speaks to everyone– that love will always triumph hate. Somehow, someway, deep down she still manages to shock me with her talent.
But, the element of surprise is something that Beyoncé is no rookie at, dropping her last self titled visual album out of nowhere back in late 2013. Not to mention her new athlesisure clothing line featured on the April cover of Elle Magazine, Ivy Park, in which she collaborated with Topshop owner Sir Philip Green to make affordable for all women.
Lemonade featured some of the Ivy Park collection, but she also slayed in lace and ruffled, swirly dresses, gigantic hats and puffy shoulders– a style that took me back to the aristocratic19th century. Alongside her albums collaborators like Grammy winners the Weekend, Kendrick Lamar and Jack White, Beyoncé’s on-point styling was due to Marni Senofonte, who also created the unforgettable Super Bowl performance outfits of “Formation.”
In addition to “Formation” being the first political single off her record, the new power-women anthems of “Freedom” and “6 Inch” are sure to be this summer’s top radio hits. The “Formation World Tour begins April 27, so I say, good luck in getting tickets on the largest sold out event of the year.
Nothing can keep this women from doing anything but her, and I’m totally okay with that.
Whether you’re flying towards the beehive or away from it, one thing’s clear, this is only a small chapter in Queen Bee’s reign. I guess the only question is, what will she conquer next?
Images Courtesy of Beyonce's team
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE,
a poet and freelance fashion writer, photographer and abstract visual content producer.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University, where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column For
The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first of 25 Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University. And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early. Bringing him to four degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for nearly a decade, from commercial retail management to corporate level ghost writing. Now - he the poet - T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent launch of the urban California lifestyle based fashion-art movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.