This week, we’re diving into Beyoncé’s world-changing visual album/way of life LEMONADE. Jeff and I are thrilled to be joined once again by guest panelist (and noted Beyoncé scholar) Taryn Cheal. Disclaimers first: we speak about “Beyoncé” and “Jay-Z” in the context of the work, and we are primarily talking about them as characters in this story. Any discussion of their lives as it relates to the art is meant to be about the story she is telling. Also, a big disclaimer—none of us are Black women, which is important because we want to acknowledge that this is who the album is explicitly FOR. We encourage you to seek out writing and podcasts on this topic by Black women.
Here are a few places to start. The outstanding ladies at the #GirlGang did us a grand favour cataloguing this ginormous list of Black women’s writing on Lemonade. Work through it at your leisure. We also recommend two other podcasts who took on the topic. Check out the For Colored Nerds latest podcast episode on Lemonade, as well as the LemonSLAYED episode from The Unfriendly Black Hotties.
Ok, let’s get into it. We take a good long look at the narrative structure of the album and the interplay between the music, film, and poetry (from Warsan Shire) that binds this incredible piece of art together. We spend some time on the format of this album, and why that’s different from what’s usually done. This is an album where the visuals are as important as the audio track (especially if you want to have a full understanding of the narrative being told).