5 Facts About Beyoncé's 'LEMONADE' Album You Should Know
Last night, Beyoncé shocked the world again with another off-the-cuff reveal. Her highly anticipated album, LEMONADE, arrived via HBO and some are already calling it the greatest pop moment of the 21st century. A truly fierce piece of art, LEMONADE is deeply personal, yet totally accessible to those who have been in the same six-inch heels that Beyoncé has worn. Tackling the inner demons associated with pain, betrayal, loss and the reward of finding one’s identity and strength — LEMONADE is one helluva drink worth sipping slowly. Placing the Kübler-Ross model, a.k.a. the “five stages of grief,” as the reference points throughout the visual album placed King Bey’s confidence on center stage.
Add to the mix that Beyoncé continued to lace #BlackLivesMatter imagery throughout her visual album (she placed Michael Brown + Trayvon Martin‘s mother during “Freedom”) — and it is apparent that she is no longer shying away from controversy. It was all an interesting night to behold, as Bey showcased blackness + womanhood in all its beauty and revealing looks into her private life.
As she continues to break the barrier with personal songs, incredible visuals and deeply intimate moments — we attempt to highlight some facts about Beyoncé’s LEMONADE album that you should know.
Soulja Boy gets a featured songwriting credit on ‘Hold Up’
Because the beat “embodies portions” of SODMG CEO’s “Turn My Swag On,” the man formerly known as Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em gets some songwriting credit on Beyoncé’s LEMONADE. Add to the mix that Yonce had “hop out of the bed, turn my swag on” coming out her mouth like hot fire — and just cry tears knowing that SB will have royalty checks for another decade coming in.
Just Blaze added his signature sound all over ‘Freedom’
One of the highlights during last night’s LEMONADE x HBO premiere was the inclusion of “Freedom,” a pounding song that emphasized the need to break the chains that continually hold people of color back. If it sounded somewhat familiar to your ears, that is because Just Blaze (Just Blaaaze!) is one of the masterminds behind the cut. With Jonny Coffer (“La La La”) and a sample from America’s foremost ethnomusicologist, Alan Lomax, Just sprinkles some “P.S.A.” magic on this liberating standout from Beyoncé’s LEMONADE.
MeLo-X scored the visual album portion for your ear’s sonic delight
East Flatbush, Brooklyn’s own MeLo-X has been seen within the Beyhive before. Eagle-eyed supporters of the experimental artist sandwiched between Nicki Minaj + Beyoncé (lucky guy!) on the “Feelin’ Myself” music video. His relationship with King Bey has proven to be fruitful, as MeLo-X not only has writing cred on “Hold Up,” but scored the visual album known as LEMONADE and he also produced the track “Sorry” where Bey basically says she’s unapologetic for anything that she does or did.
Mike Dean returns to drop another heater with Beyoncé
As much as anyone would love listening to Beyoncé coo on a sensual track, the real star of the show is Mike Dean. The former Rap-A-Lot producer has a strong connection with Bey on “Love Drought,” as he co-produced and co-wrote the cut, while even programming the glimmering keyboards and kinetic drums.
King Kendrick x King Bey finally collab in epic revolutionary fashion
“Freedom,” the aforementioned cut which features Just Blaze behind the boards, finds everyone’s wishes coming true as two kings get together on the track. After demolishing the Super Bowl + the Grammys, respectively, Beyoncé adds Kendrick Lamar on “Freedom” to drive home the point of breaking the chains that bind people of color to such a horrid past. In a verse that grows more impassioned as the drums boom with increasing force, Cornrow Kenny raps, “Open the streets and watch our beliefs / And when they carve my name inside the concrete I pray it forever reads Freedom.” An arresting track indeed, and one that may find itself being shouted from the streets of Ferguson to Brooklyn.
Watch the trailer below:
LEMONADE will replay on HBO tonight, April 24, at 8:00pm EST!