A blow-by-blow of Lemonade, so you don't have to pay to watch it
Watching Beyonce's music videos has now begun to cost real money.
Lemonade, her sixth Billboard #1, released exclusively on April 23on HBO, then exclusively on Tidal, and on April 25on iTunes.
You still can't catch it on YouTube.
If you've been on the internet at all this past week, you also know what the album is about. (And if you don't, it's about dealing with the infidelity of a partner. And fictional or otherwise, Jay Z appears to be that partner).
The album video follows the arc of the process: discovery, then theKubler-Ross
cycle of grief, and then - with a sudden turn toward the biblical - to reconciliation and resurrection, and back to happy family.
If you are loathe to spend the Rs 270 it costs to watch Lemonade (legally), here's a blow-by-blow of what the album-video looks like.
Screen grab by screen grab. Song by song.
Track:Pray You Catch Me
Voiceover:You remind me of my father, a magician, able to exist in two places at once.
And then, following the discovery of "strange women", Beyonce falls, metaphorically and visually, into an abyss.
Track: Hold Up
Voiceover:I tried to change. Closed my mouth more. Tried to be soft. Prettier. Less Awake...
I bathed in bleach and plugged my menses with pages from the Holy Book, but still inside me coiled deep was the need to know, Are you cheating on me?
And she emerges from the water thus.
And embarks on a rampage of breaking cars and cameras and water tanks.
What's worse, looking jealous or crazy?
She'd rather be crazy.
Track: Don't Hurt Yourself (Featuring Jack White)
Voiceover:If it's what you truly want, I can wear her skin over mine. Her hair over mine. Her hands as gloves. Her teeth as confetti. Her scalp, a cap. We can pose for a photograph, all three of us. You and your perfect girl.
There's a voiceover mid-song. She samples Malcolm X:"The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman."
(It's a tool that worked inFlawless
, where she sampled Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It works again).
I am the dragon breathing fire...
You ain't trying hard enough. You ain't loving deep enough.
Voiceover:So what are you going to say at my funeral, now that you've killed me?
...Her heaven will be a love without betrayal.
This video also features Serena Williams.
And ends with the controversial, He better call Becky with the good hair
Track: 6 inch (featuringThe Weeknd
Voiceover: She sleeps all day. Dreams of you in both worlds. Tills the blood, in and out of uterus. Wakes up, smelling of zinc. Grief sedated by orgasm. Orgasm heightened by grief.
Dear moon, we blame you for floods.
For the flush of blood. For men who are also wolves. We blame you for the night. For the dark. For the ghosts.
Track: Daddy Lessons
Voiceover:Did he bend your reflection? Did he make you forget your name?... Are you a slave to the back of his head?
My daddy warned me about men like you.
Track: Love Drought
Voiceover:Why do you deny yourself heaven? Why do you consider yourself undeserving? Why are you afraid of love?
You think it's not possible for someone like you.
But you are the love of my life.
Voiceover:Baptize me, now that reconciliation is possible. If we're gonna heal, let it be glorious.
There is a curse that will be broken.
Track: Forward (featuring James Blake)
Voiceover:How do we lead our children to the feature? How do we lead them? What do we do?
The video features the mother of Trayvon Martin.
And the mother of Michael Brown.
And paves the way for...
Track: Freedom (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
This is the first track that appears not to be about fidelity at all. Beyonce broadens the scope of the grief she's expressing - no longer is it about cheating and the other woman. The album becomes what it truly is - about systematic violence in all its forms against the black woman.
This track is the flashpoint in the arc of Lemonade. It features verse from Kendrick Lamar, as well as a sample from an old Negro prison song.
And it ends with Hattie, Jay Z's grandmother. Who, on her 90th birthday, said:
"I had my ups and downs, but I always had the inner strength to pull myself up," she says. "I was served lemons, but I made lemonade."
Track: All Night
Voiceover: As my grandma said, Nothing real can be threatened.
True love bought salvation back to me. With every tear, came redemption.
My torturer became my remedy. So we're going to heal.
And this is how Lemonade ends.
Edited by Payal Puri
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