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Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' album has us asking so many questions

Questions about feminism, racial identity and discrimination in America. And questions about fidelity

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 25 Apr 2016

About 'Lemonade'
Photo: HBO

Beyoncé fans will be thrilled to know that Lemonade will be available on iTunes tonight, according to The New York Times. If you're not up for the wait, you can also sign up for a Tidal subscription to stream the album and watch the film that made its debut on HBO over the weekend.

The "visual album" consists of 11 themes, with titles such as intuition, anger, denial, apathy, emptiness, loss, accountability, forgiveness and hope. On first watch, the plot appears to centre on Jay Z's rumoured infidelity back in 2014, before developing into Bey's thoughts about black womanhood, feminism, racial identity and discrimination in America.

However it can be hard to know where Bey draws the line between reality and art. She has history with singing lyrics that don't directly correlate with her own life (Single Ladies, anyone?) but this album certainly feels more personal and emotional than any of her earlier work. Is she talking about Jay Z when she spits lines like, "What are you hiding?" and "Are you cheating on me?". When she angrily lashes out with, "I don't want to lose my pride, but I'm a fu**** me up a bi***" and "What's worse, looking jealous or crazy?" as she stalks the streets of New Orleans wearing Roberto Cavalli it certainly feels like something she has lived through. 

The most confusing/convincing scene of all is when Jay Z himself makes a cameo in the song Sandcastles, and Bey sings, "I know I promised that I couldn't stay, baby but every promise don't work out that way".

In her last two tracks, Forward and Freedom, she explores how "the most disrespected person in America is the black woman", and viewers are given glimpses of tennis player Serena Williams, model Winnie Harlow, Zendaya, and the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown (young black men who were killed in race-based assaults).

Related: Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' trailer is all kinds of mysterious
Related: May 2016 issue editor's letter


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