Earlier this month, Beyoncé teased a new project on Instagram, a little something called Lemonade. We didn't know quite what it was but we did know that it was coming, and soon too. The true nature of Lemonade was shrouded in secrecy, right up until its release, but if there's one thing we've learned about Beyoncé over the years, it's that she doesn't do things by halves. Whatever Lemonade was, it was going to be significant.
Expectations were high and Bey did not disappoint. The premiere of what turned out to be a "visual album" on HBO Saturday night can be described as nothing other than a musical revolution. But what exactly is Lemonade? Why does it matter? And the question on everyone's lips: Who the hell is Becky?!
What Actually Is It?
In the simplest of terms, Lemonade is a visual album: one long, seamless music video for an album's worth of tracks, connected by a voiceover from Beyoncé. It outlines the story of infidelity and reconciliation, starting out with Bey questioning her relationship and moving right on through the natural stages of protest, anger and eventual relent and reunion. The story ends with a strong assertion that the couple will move forward in spite of the alleged affair.
Lemonade also features a subplot, detailing the experience of living as a black woman in America. Men are almost entirely absent, replaced with large groups of women in something of a sisterhood. The whole thing is quite a visual marvel, moving through a number of settings with a certain southern feel.
What Are The Songs Called?
- 1. Pray You Can't Catch Me
- 2. Hold Up
- 3. Don't Hurt Yourself
- 4. Sorry
- 5. 6 Inch
- 6. Daddy Lessons
- 7. Love Drought
- 8. Sandcastles
- 9. Forward
- 10. Freedom
- 11. All Night
- 12. Formation
Why Is It Called Lemonade?
During a spoken segment, Beyoncé uses the well-known saying, “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
What Do The Songs Really Say About Beyoncé's Life?
The suspicions that Beyoncé's husband Jay Z has cheated are not new — they've been circulating for some years now and truly came to a head after the singer's sister, Solange, was caught attacking her brother-in-law in an elevator back in 2014. The lyrics in Lemonade as good as confirm the cheating stories, as do some of the visuals, in which at one point a furious sister can be seen smashing a car window with a baseball bat. This leads us to the most important question of all...
Who The Hell Is Becky?
In the song "Sorry," Beyonce sings, "He only want me when I'm not there, he better call Becky with the good hair," which has led to a social media storm of fans and journalists alike trying to figure out who this Becky biatch actually is.
A lot of the evidence points to the designer, who is rumored to have been the reason Solange kicked off in that elevator two years ago. Just hours after Lemonade dropped, she posted a selfie with the caption:
"Good hair don't care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueens."
Mere days before Lemonade premiered, Rita shared a rather suggestive photo of herself on Snapchat, wearing what looked like a "J" necklace and a bra with two lemons on it. It turned out, however, that the necklace actually featured the letter, "R" masquerading as a "J" due to the mirror reflection. Rita was signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation label in 2008 but has always denied any romance between them.
After working closely with Jay Z on music projects, rapper LIV released a song called "Sorry Mrs. Carter" in 2014, including the lyrics like, "Your man, he likes model chicks," which is basically a slap in Bey's face. However, the lyrics do go on to say:
"Got my name in the news saying things I ain't do. Side chick. Never. Mistress. Who? Ya'll misinformed, got it misconstrued. F**k, f***ing to the top, me and Jay never screwed."
A book released last year claimed that Jay Z had an affair with pop princess Rihanna while he and Bey were on a "secret break." The alleged two-year separation occurred at the same time a then 17-year-old Rihanna was signed to his label Def Jam.
And The Rest
Jay Z has been linked to rather a lot of ladies since he started dating Beyoncé back in 2002, but it's hard to say whether these rumors have any truth to them. The list includes reality star Casey Cohen, model Claudia Scheelen, singers Tori Kelly, Mya (see video below) and pretty much every chick the music magnate has worked with in the studio. Basically, the only woman he hasn't been connected to is somebody actually called Becky!
It's entirely possible (even probable) that Becky isn't an individual at all but actually refers to many women. The term has been known to refer to a generic white girl with long, straight hair — or a typical valley girl.
The jury's out on this one. For now, let's just enjoy the musical masterpiece that is Lemonade. The album is available exclusively to stream and buy on Tidal, Jay-Z's online service, and is also available to buy on iTunes. Watch the trailer below.