Lemonade is no longer just a beverage.
The name forever belongs to the piece of art that was delivered last night by artist/goddess/queen Beyoncé Knowles.
The visionary album comes with a long list of credits that includes a line-up of exciting African artists like Nigerian-Brooklynite Laolu Senbanjo and British-Somali Warsan Shire.
This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has preached the words of an African woman: in her self-titled album, she channelled the pen of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to proclaim herself a feminist.
With LEMONADE, Queen Bee is celebrating an art that is often underrated: spoken word. Poet Warsan Shire started making a name for herself on Tumblr before publishing her first poetry pamphlet Teaching my Mother How To Give Birth in which she explores the intimate complexity of sensuality, love and faith. You can listen to Shire’s poems here.
Bey quotes from one of Warsan Shire’s most well known poems For Women Who Are Difficult To Love. LEMONADE is divided into 11 mini chapters which recounts a woman’s journey from betrayal to forgiveness and acceptance. Each of the chapters blends a song in the album with excerpts from Shire’s poetry.
You can stream the album for free on Tidal. But here’s our guide to Beyoncé emotional trip.
‘In the tradition of men and my blood, you come home at 3 AM and lie to me.’
‘I plugged my menses with pages of the holy book and still coiled deep inside me was the need to know — are you cheating on me?’
‘If this is what you really want, I can wear her skin over mine.’
‘Here lies the body of the love of my life whose heart I broke without a gun to my head.’
‘Sometimes when he’d have her body in his bed, she’d whisper “Oh My God”. That too is a form of worship.’
‘You must wear (your mother’s lipstick) like she wears disappointment on her face. Your mother is a woman and women like her cannot be contained.’
‘Why are you afraid of love? You think it’s not possible for someone like you? But you are the love of my life.’
‘Do you remember being born, are you thankful?’
‘You are terrifying and strange and beautiful.’
‘That night in a dream, the first girl emerges from a slit in my stomach. The scars heals into a smile.’
‘With every tear came redemption. My torturer became my remedy.’