What is Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’? It’s a stunning one-hour visual concept that takes Beyonce through an emotional journey of betrayal and recovery… but also debuts 12 — yes, that’s right 12 — NEW songs!
Beyonce, 34, sure knows how to do things in a way no one else can. With the premiere of Lemonade, Beyonce tells a story through spoken word, new music, and visuals we’ve never seen before. And to think, this was all just the introduction to a brand-new surprise album!
Lemonade opens with Beyonce resting on her knees in on a stage, singing a beautiful ballad as clips of her walking through a field singing the same song cut in and out. It seems like an intro, then cuts to a screen that reads “Intuition.” This is just the first chapter, and the rest of the story is told through different chapters like “denial,” “anger,” “apathy,” “accountability,” “reformation,” and “resurrection.”
Throughout Lemonade there are some incredible A-list cameos, including a sultry Serena Williams twerking alongside Beyonce in the “apathy” chapter. You’ll also recognize young talent like Winnie Harlow, Amandla Stenberg and Quvenzhane Wallis.
It’s hard to describe the full hour, but it starts out in a very dark place. Beyonce has obviously been hurt, badly, and she’s ready to let whoever did the hurting — ahem, Jay Z? — learn their lesson.
We see beautiful but dark, maybe even sad shots of women dressed in Victorian fashion in the woods, as Beyonce speaks about someone reminding her of her father. “A magician,” she calls him, and then we return to Beyonce singing a ballad in an old metal bath tub.
In the next shot, under “denial,” Beyonce slowly jumps off the edge of a building and just before she hits the ground she dives into water. The pool is a bedroom, and Beyonce speaks about seeing the devil once. Once she finds her way through the water she opens the front doors to a house and waves rush down the steps as she walks through them. In a gorgeous yellow dress, Beyonce struts down the sidewalk and picks up a bat from a friendly neighbor.
Then, she completely loses her mind. She uses the bat to destroy cars, store windows, everything, and another new song plays. Beyonce sings, “she don’t love you like I love you” over and over again as she continues to destroy everything she can find with a wide smile on her face. It’s absolutely insane, and at the same time it’s pure perfection.
“Anger” is the next chapter, and Beyonce speaks about turning another woman’s teeth into confetti before we meet her in a parking garage. At the very end of the song, she rips off her wedding ring and throws it at the camera. Okay, is it safe to stop just speculating this is about Jay Z now, or are we just going to ignore that massive bowl of shade she just threw across the room?
A familiar voice joins Beyonce as she sings in the backseat of a car, and it’s The Weeknd. The clip is short but the beat is deep, and it leads us to Beyonce bouncing on her heels behind a glass pane for “Loss.”
“Reformation” starts with Beyonce laying on her side in the middle of a massive football stadium, which feels like a strong reference to her Super Bowl performance in February 2016. The song is softer than the others, an upbeat R&B feel to it, with Beyonce singing about how she and her beloved could “move a mountain” as the sun sets in the background.
“Forgiveness” begins with Beyonce laying on the beach, the waves washing up against her body. In another shot she joins hands with a group of girls, all of them raised up to the sky. Soon we’re brought inside to Beyonce sitting on the floor playing a keyboard as she sings a ballad about promises that don’t work out the way you want them to.
This is where we get our first glimpse at Jay Z, with the pair laying in bed and laughing together as if everything’s fine. But, it doesn’t take long for things to get real, with shots of the pair sitting close together as Beyonce sings softly into Jay’s ear. Whatever happened between them to cause all of this, they’ve gotten over it, and their love seems stronger in these few shots than it ever has before.
“Resurrection” felt like a deep reminder that the future is bleak if we don’t start making changes. There were shots of different women holding up pictures of those they’ve lost, including the mother of Mike Brown, Lesley McSpadden, and Trayvon Martin‘s mom, Sybrina Fulton.
The finale shows us some incredible private clips from Beyonce’s life, including footage from her mother’s wedding, her own wedding to Jay, and the moment they got their matching tattoos. There is also footage of Jay and Blue roughhousing on the Super Bowl field, amidst different shots of couples kissing, embracing, dancing, and more. It’s a beautiful ending to an hour-long visual concept that had a pretty emotionally damaged start.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What did YOU think of Beyonce’s Lemonade? Leave comments letting us know your favorite parts, songs, and more below!