Beyoncé Addresses Jay Z’s Alleged Cheating in ‘LEMONADE’ Special
Rucuss staffApril 24, 2016
Beyoncé debuted her new album as a film.
With few details announced in advance of her LEMONADE one-hour special on HBO, Bey’s album probed betrayal, jealousy, revenge and rage before moving toward reconciliation. Similar to her 2013’s BEYONCÉ, she filmed music videos with in-between vignettes and spoken-word introductions.
Serena Williams was featured in a segment, along with contributions from The Weeknd, Jack White and James Blake. Directors for the visual-album include Mark Romanek, Khalil Joseph, Melina Matsoukas, Todd Tourso, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jonas Akerlund and Beyoncé.
It’s clear that she’s coping with the emotional fallout from her husband Jay Z allegedly cheating on her, using the project as a medium to explore her feelings about the situation and how she got through it.
“So what are you gonna say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me?,” Beyoncé sings in Apathy. “Here lies the body of the love of my life whose heart I broke without a gun to my head. Here lies the mother of my children both living and dead. Rest in peace my true love, who I took for granted. Most bomb pussy, who because of me sleep evaded. Her shroud is loneliness, her god was listening. Her heaven will be a love without betrayal. Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks.”
In another song, Beyoncé continues to talk about infidelity.
“You remind me of my father, a magician / Able to exist in two places at once / And the tradition and men and my blood, you come home at 3 a.m. and lie to me / What are you hiding?” she says at one point, plunging off the top of a building into a deep ocean, reemerging in a bedroom brimming with water and asking, “Are you cheating on me?”
She addresses the mistress to her husband.
“We can pose for a photograph—all three of us. Immortalized. You and your perfect girl. I don’t know when love became elusive,” Beyoncé sings.
Bey continues, “Beautiful man, I know you lying. Who the fuck do you think I am? You try this shit again, you gon’ lose your wife.”
Serena Williams danced alongside Bey, sitting on a high-backed chair, as the latter continued to exercise her angst.
“He better call her Becky with the good hair,” Beyonce sings. The Weeknd contributes as a guest star, singing about Beyoncé in an uplifting manner: “Stacking money no matter where she goes, karma, karma, karma.”
Scorned, she turns her attention to the mistress and confronts her directly.
“Did he bend your reflection?,” she says. “Did he make you forget your own name? Did he convince you he was a god? Do you get on your knees daily? Do his eyes close like doors? Are you a slave to the back of his head? Am I talking about your husband, or your father?”
Finally comes “Forgiveness,” one of the title cards that lays out the stages of grief that she experiences through the film.
“Baptize me, now that the reconciliation is possible,” Beyoncé sings. “If we’re going to heal, let it be glorious. One-thousand girls raise their arms. Do you remember being born? Are you thankful?”
Bey sits at a piano keyboard with headphones on as the first images of her and Jay Z appear, signifying a sea change.
“We built sandcastles that washed away, I made you cry when I walked away / Oh, and although I promised that I could stay baby / every promise don’t work out that way,” Beyoncé sings.
English singer-songwriter James Blake appears on a stark piano ballad, where mothers Sybrina Fulton and Lesley McFadden hold up pictures of their sons Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, both killed by police. It’s a continuation of the politically-charged “Formation,” which is included at the album’s end.
The film comes to a conclusion with Beyoncé pictured with Blue Ivy and Jay Z, smiling and laughing in a backyard. The album title comes from a family gathering that’s shown in the video and heard on a track: the 90th birthday of Hattie White, Jay Z’s grandmother, who says, “I was served lemons but I made lemonade.”
Beyoncé released “Lemonade” online at 10 p.m. on April 23, immediately after the HBO showing of the hourlong “visual album” version.
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