Beyonce confronts an unfaithful husband in "Lemonade," her new "visual album." Stream the whole thing here.
Beyonce's new album, Lemonade, is now available on Tidal, though one shouldn't cop the album without watching the film of the same name that preceded its release. Tabbed as a "visual album," "Lemonade" plays out as one abstract but narrative-driven film, just under an hour in runtime. Music videos of most of Lemonade's tracks are sprinkled in throughout the film, each one essential to the larger storyline.
None of the artists who are featured on the album, including Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, James Blake, and Jack White, show up in the film, though the visual album includes its own array of special guests, most notably Serena Williams and Jay Z.
Serena was the first big star to show up, and she made the most of the moment by twerking in a tight black leotard. Feast your eyes on that below.
As for Jay Z, he was first alluded to as a potential villain. During a "Lemonade" segment titled "Intuition," Beyonce coldly addresses an adulterous significant other while she walks dangerously close to the edge of a building. "You remind me of my father, a magician, able to exist in two places at once," she says, her voice trembling with anger. "In the tradition of men in my blood, you come home at 3 a.m. and lie to me. What are you hiding? The past, and the future, merge to meet us here. What luck. What a fucking curse."
Beyonce is then shown plunged underwater, and when she suddenly reappears back on land, in New Orleans, she asks straight up, "Are you cheating on me?"
During an ensuing segment titled "Anger," she really calls out her superstar husband: "Who the fuck do you think I am. You ain’t married to no average bitch, boy. You can watch my fat ass twist, boy. As I bounce to the next (dick) boy. And keep your money, I got my own."
This part of the film is intensely political, as a clip of Malcolm X saying, "The most disrespected person in America is the black woman," plays in between Bey's angry tirade. What happens next is one of Beyonce's most shocking on-screen moments, as she says, "If you try this shit again, you’re gon’ lose your wife." She then takes off her wedding ring and lets it fall to the ground.
Finally, later in the film, during the "Reformation" stage, Jay Z comes into the picture. The couple is shown holding each other in bed, looking as though they've just come out of a fight that jeopardized their whole relationship. It's startling to see Hov looking so damn vulnerable.
He appears once more during a touching sequence toward the end of "Lemonade," as home video footage of a pregnant Beyonce segues into a clip of Jay kissing a newborn baby Blue Ivy. The whole family runs around the field at Levi's stadium before Super Bowl 50, for which Beyonce was the star of the halftime show.
Of course, Hov has faced cheating allegations during his relationship with Beyonce, though that's ordinary for any celebrity couple. Beyonce also puts herself in the headspace of her mother for much of "Lemonade," so much of her anger about infidelity is likely directed at her father. And most importantly, "Lemonade" is a work of art, one that doesn't have to directly reflect what's going on in Beyonce's marriage.
Regardless if Hov did cheat, though, "Lemonade" ends with him, Bey, and Blue Ivy together as one happy and beautiful family. May they stay that way forever.
Watch Beyonce's entire visual album below.