You know how the story goes: Beyoncé releases music and then the whole world goes nuts. This time it's in the form of the 12 track album, Lemonade, and a 60 minute film to go along with it.
In classic Bey style, this album came unannounced of course by being debuted in the HBO exclusive special and then being streamed on Tidal quickly after. The album and visual credits for these works of art are intense. Lemonade, as a whole being as presented, is an honest, unapologetic portrayal of various political statements. The music piece centers around a quote by Jay-Z's grandmother, Hattie White, on her 90th birthday that's featured in the song "Freedom."
"I had my ups and downs, but I always found the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade."
The film shows a woman's journey through love, family, racial tension, relationships, and empowerment with a million different quotes to be taken from it as Beyoncé gives some artistic spoken word in-between the songs.
Writers, Producers, Features...
As for the music, the contributing roster is stacked. The album features writers, producers and features including James Blake, Diplo, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Joshua Tillman (Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty), MNEK, Jack White, the Weeknd, Danny Boy Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Rock City, Khalif Brown (Rae Sremmurd), Mike WiLL Made-It, and many many others.
Such a wide array of talents spanning across many genres put their minds together to form this musical creation. Some samples in the tracks include bits of songs by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Soulja Boy, Andy Williams, Led Zeppelin, Animal Collective, Outkast, and even Malcolm-X. The first glimpse of the album was released on February 6th, with the single "Formation" and fans have been on edge until now.
The video on the other hand, has the directing credits attributed to Khalil Joseph, Beyonce herself, Malcolm Nichols, Melina Matsoukas, Todd Tourso, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jonas Åkerlund, Mark Romanek and a team of other cinematographers.
Khalil Joseph possibly is most known for his work being the director for Kendrick Lamar's "m.A.A.d." and Flying Lotus' "Until the Quiet Comes." Melina Matsoukas is no stranger to Beyoncé by working on the video for "Formation." Dikayl Rimmasch is known for his work on Beyoncé and Jay-Z's video for "Bang Bang." Jonas Åkerlund is a director, having worked with artists such as Blink-182, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, and Coldplay and even winning a Grammy and seven MTV music awards for his video of Madonna's "Ray of Light." An all star line-up to say the least made up of individuals with extensive experience. One could say it's just a group of the best of the best. Enough effort was put into this that the fans will digest and interpret the works for a while.