It’s a Sunday morning in Johannesburg. It’s supposedly Autumn, but if I look outside we’re in for another scorcher of a day. I need something refreshing to fuel me along for a marathon of nothingness – and by that I mean a lazy day, as Sundays should be spent. Something that tickles my fancy is something delicious and fresh. Something like #Lemonade. And boy have I found a delicious blend.
One of the biggest stars in the entertainment industry right now (and for the last twenty years or so) is the formidable Beyoncé Knowles. The star continues to break boundaries and borders with her craft, highlighting just how powerful brand Beyoncé
is and how fearless she is in her attempt to be the best she can possibly be. It’s remarkable, it’s genius. It’s also very rare. Maybe the reason why we’re subjected to a lot of the mediocre crap for so many months of any given year between her albums is because she wants to us to realise that she will break the mundane spell with something oh so special.
So by now you’re wondering what the link between my desire for lemonade and Beyoncé is. Well if you’re just waking up, the one word that is and will be trending all day is #Lemonade. That’s because Beyoncé just dropped her visual album with that title. The film, of which she was the executive producer, aired on HBO a few hours ago and after that, and as to be expected, the star dropped her new album. It’s currently streaming on Tidal, which I and no doubt thousands of others have now signed up to.
Let’s talk about production. Or do we even have to? This woman’s attention to detail is incredible. The storylines of the videos are powerful, and the way in which she has married story with production is amazing. From narration to grading, cinematography to editing, these videos are visual artpieces. Sign up and watch it now.
I haven’t listened enough to delve deeply into the themes throughout the album, but one major theme is infidelity. Did he cheat on her? And by he, I could be referring to Jay Z, to Matthew Knowles or to any other man or woman who has ever strayed. Beyoncé doesn’t explicitly say who she is referring to, so this could all be conceptual. I mean look at what it’s doing just on this post alone – we’re talking about it and therefore drawing attention to the album.
You see Beyoncé Knowles is no fluffy pop star. She is a powerful, extremely self-assured, talented (some may even go as far as to say gifted) and intelligent woman. She may have sold millions and millions of albums to date, traveled far and wide, done a lot more than most will ever get to, but she like you and me is human. A super human, but human nonetheless. I may not be able to resonate with many of the themes throughout this album and I may not be considered her target market. I can however listen to the music and draw a lot more from this chapter in her musical life, and in doing so draw my own conclusions, connections and the like from there. I said this on Twitter earlier. The music is that much better when it stands for something and that something is uplifting, empowering, socially relevant. That’s #Lemonade.
When Beyoncé is ready to share parts of her private life with the world, she does so in her own way, her own time. You know why? Because she can. She answers to nobody. She answers to Beyoncé and if Beyoncé says yes, then best you be prepared because the powerhouse has a plan and it’s bigger than the last one. In 2011, Beyoncé released an album called 4. It was the first time the star had broken away from her father, and decided to take control of her career and own affairs. It was probably one of the most nervewrecking periods of the star’s already successful career, but she knew the time was right and she knew she could. And then she did. And then she never looked back. And ain’t that one beautiful, amazing story?
In that moment where you know and believe that you can, half of the battle is won. The rest is up to you to make it the most lucrative decision for you, be it financially, spiritually, emotionally, physically. That documentary is saved on my PVR and it serves as a constant reminder that I cannot settle for a mundane existance. I too have a story, dreams and goals that I want to share. They may not be on the same grandiose scale as Beyoncé, but they’re there and they exists. In both my and your life, we will work with some powerful brands, but the only one that truly matters is yours. Don’t ever let it take second best. Once you realise the power and purpose of your brand, you will never look back. You will continue in your efforts to build it up, creatively innovate, be unique and offer the best you can to those around you. Make it matter, be relevant, be conscious and aware of what matters and once your find that, pour yourself some freshly made Lemonade and toast to your damn self!
Tracklist for Lemonade:
1. Pray You Can’t Catch Me
2. Hold Up
3. Don’t Hurt Yourself ft Jack White
5. 6 Inch ft The Weeknd
6. Daddy Lessons
7. Love Drought
9. Forward ft James Blake
10. Freedom ft Kendrick Lamar
11. All Night