You Have Questions About Beyonce's 'Lemonade' & We've Got Answers

You might have heard that Beyonce released an album over the weekend. It's called Lemonade. You may not have heard about it, but considering that literally everyone everywhere was talking about it, we're guessing you did. But no matter where you stand on the have/have-not-heard-about-this scale, we're sure you have some questions. We mean, it's Beyonce. She's a nortoriously private woman who apparently aired some pretty personal stuff in a big, beautiful way. We've got questions, too.


But we figured we'd start with the simple ones -- the ones that we have at least partial answers for. Some questions we cannot answer, but here are the ones we can. Kind of.

  1. What the eff is a "visual album"?

    Good Q. To put it simply, it's the music videos for 11 new songs mushed together. To put it not simply, it's a layered approach to a musical album, in this case separated into chapters ("Intuition," "Denial," "Reformation," etc.), interspersed with spoken word poetry/home videos/killer celeb cameos, and presented, essentially, as an hour-long short film.

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    The songs are the first 11 tracks off Beyonce's new album, Lemonade, which was released separately. The last song on the album is "Formation," which we've already heard and appropriately freaked out about. It plays during the credits, but other than that, it's left out of the visual album.

    As the narrative of the songs explores love, marriage, infidelity, and the root of all these things, the visuals -- which are set against a backdrop of the Deep South and feature almost exclusively other black women -- look at feminism, race, and black womanhood. Of course, the themes in each are echoed and amplified by the other, and the whole thing draws deeply on Bey's black roots and, by an equal measure, her deep-seated feminism. It's two stories told in tandem and explored in relation to each other, and it's effing amazing.

  2.  Sounds great, but please back up for a sec. When you say "infidelity," are we talking about Jay Z cheating? Like actually talking about it?

    Yeah, APPARENTLY. Definitely open to interpretation, but the marriage she's talking about certainly sounds a lot like her own and Jay Z makes a quiet cameo at the end, so, yeah. Apparently.

    It could also be about her father, Matthew Knowles, or really any fictional marriage, but either way, it's an exploration of where Beyonce's complex feelings about infidelity come from, plus what looked like a coup of power in her marriage. Or, you know, whoever's marriage.

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    Honestly, the first half of Lemonade reads like the transcript of a very public divorce. But in the second half, Bey does some serious soul searching and by the end, it kind of seems like nah. There hasn't been an official announcement either way, so we'll stick with that "no" for now.

  4. Who is Becky and why is everyone talking about her hair?

    The fourth track, "Sorry," features this line: "He only want me when I'm not on there / He better call Becky with the good hair."

    Hmm, cryptic. But never fear! The Beyhive is on the case. When Rachel Roy Instagrammed something about good hair and #NoDramaQueens a few hours after the album dropped, the Hive noticed. And trolled the hell out of her. Since Roy was rumored to be with Jay Z in 2014 and reportedly the cause of the famed Solange elevator attack, it seemed like a decent conclusion to jump to.

    Roy, for her part, made her IG private. Her Twitter is in good shape, though, and she tweeted this after the Instagram debacle:

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    Cryptic!! Again. But the silver lining is that the overeager Beyhive briefly misplaced their anger on an unsuspecting Rachael Ray and it was honestly one of the most truly delightful things we've ever witnessed:

  5.  Should we stop talking about Jay Z now?

    Yeah, we're done. There's a lot more going on here and many deeper, more interesting questions about race and womanhood and what those mean together. Those questions have already been kneaded and thought through by smart black writers, so if you're interested in an analysis, we recommend Vulture's roundtable with Dee Lockett, Ashley Weatherford, and Lindsay Peoples; Mashable's Yohana Desta's ode to Bey's ode to black girls; and Michael Arceneaux's breakdown of the music for Rolling Stone.

  6. What were the most gifable moments? 

    Second track: "Hold Up." The whole thing, really, is gifable gold.

    Fourth track: "Sorry" (feat. Serena Williams twerking)

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  7. #Lemonaide? ?? ??? ?

    Yeah, idk. After Lemonade was released, the trending hashtag for a while was #LEMONAIDE because the Beyhive's misplaced eagerness once again went to social media failure. It's just a misspelling, but one that the entire human race should be embarrassed on behalf of.
  8. Which quotable lines should I plan on merging with my current vocabulary?

    WE ARE GLAD YOU ASKED. "Suck on my balls," fo sho. We're also fans of "Middle fingers up, put them hands high":

  9. This looks amazing and I want to watch it immediately. How can I do that?

    The visual part was initially (and exclusively) released on HBO while the album part went up on Tidal. The hour-long video isn't on HBO anymore, but you can buy it for $17.99 on Tidal or use your 90-day Tidal free trial if you didn't waste it on Kanye (sorry, Kanye).

    You can also buy the whole package on the iTunes store, but this is sort of Tidal's lifeline right now, so we're considering it charity work to buy from them. 

Image via PG/Splash News
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