9 Things You Definitely Didn’t Know About Beyonce’s “Lemonade”

If you haven’t watched Beyonce‘s visual album, Lemonade, yet, then you need to open up a new tab and watch it immediately. Seriously, do it right now. I’m not playing around, dude.

Okay, now, for those of us who have already experienced Lemonade‘s breathtaking cinematography, captivating interludes, and brilliant songs: you probably can’t stop thinking about it, can you? Pardon all those flowery adjectives, but I’m keeping it real. I was so moved by the damn thing that I not only played it twice in one night, I also kind of sort of encouraged my BF to leave the room as I watched it. Sure, that sounds extreme. But there was an intimacy in Lemonade that I could only fully experience in solitude…and the comfort of my exhilarated Twitter Timeline.

By now, you’ve probably seen plenty of reaction posts and news about Rachel Roy embroiling herself into the “Becky with the good hair” controversy. That’s all well and good, but there’s a lot more to Lemonade than drama and funny tweets about Jay-Z’s alleged cheating. Here are nine things you didn’t know about Lemonade that you might have missed the first during your first watch/listen.

1. Lemonade featured some serious celebrity cameos.

No, your eyes weren’t deceiving you. Serena Williams was definitely looking fly as hell during “Sorry.”

A photo posted by amandla (@amandlastenberg) on

You also might have peeped Zendaya and Amandla Stenberg.

Even our lil’ pint sized fave Quvenzhané Wallis was there.

A photo posted by ♔Winnie♔ (@winnieharlow) on

And if you’re big on models, you probably noticed Winnie Harlow, too!


2. Many of the poems Beyonce weaved into Lemonade were written by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire.

A photo posted by warsan shire (@wu_shire) on

“You are terrifying and strange and beautiful.”

Beyonce is a musical genius and a force to be reckoned with, but she can’t be credited with everything. Some of the most stirring moments of Lemonade were Beyonce’s recitations of some seriously ethereal, but dark poetry. That’s courtesy of Warsan Shire, a Somali-British poet in her late twenties.

Check out her album of poetry here.


3. The families of police brutality victims made tearjerking appearances in the short-film.

You might have found yourself in tears or close to it a few times while watching Lemonade. One of those moments might have been when the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner were seen holding photos of their sons, all unarmed victims of police brutality and vigilantism.


4. Song samples, lyrics, and musical credits in Lemonade include everything from The Weeknd to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Soulja Boy to Animal Collective, Jack White and more.

Whether you love indie music, psychedelic music, or hip hop, Beyonce paid homage to a bunch of genres in Lemonade. Diplo and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Konig have writing credits, as does everybody’s new fave, James Blake.

Here are just a few songs that were sampled in Lemonade:


5. Black womanhood is at the center of Lemonade.

The exclusive world premiere of Beyonce's 'Lemonade' on HBO

Beyonce is a black woman, a fact that people like to ignore and then feign surprise when she does things like bail out Black Lives Matter protestors, or create a visual album that is filled to the brim with black women. Just listen to the lyrics…the poetry…look at the visuals. It’s black womanhood to the max, and that’s absolutely brilliant.


6. Lemonade successfully squashed any rumors that Beyonce faked her pregnancy with Blue Ivy.
The exclusive world premiere of Beyonce's 'Lemonade' on HBO

Remember when people thought Bey used a surrogate? BAM! Look at that pregnant belly from an old video.


7. The south is a big theme in Lemonade, and for good reason.


Yes, by now we all know that Beyonce’s dad is from Alabama and her mom is from Louisiana, and when you mix that Negro with that Creole, you make a Texas Bama (AKA Beyonce). But it’s worth noting that a lot of Lemonade was shot in New Orleans and much of the wardrobe resembles a Southern Gothic-esque aesthetic.


8. One cool dude was behind some of the most alluring looks in Lemonade.

The exclusive world premiere of Beyonce's 'Lemonade' on HBO

A photo posted by Laolu (@laolunyc) on

Who else thought that this was beyond cool? Well, you have an artist by the name of Laolu to thank for that. Look at how he used these women’s bodies as living canvases.



9. Lemonade is more than just a call out about Jay Z’s unfaithfulness.


Yes, we’re going to quote “Becky with the good hair” until the day we die. And, of course, these lines are brutal: “Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home / Today I regret the night I put that ring on / He always got them f*****g excuses.” Memes about Jay-Z regretting cheating on Beyonce will never get old, but Lemonade is more than just Beyonce being mad at Jay Z. Lemonade focuses on generational mistrust and childhood trauma, losing trust and regaining it (with time). None of this can be reduced to a funny Tweet. Lemonade is as much about tackling deception head on as it is about forgiveness and growth. Does this mean that Beyonce thinks you should forgive everyone who wrongs you? Of course not. But it allows us to explore a narrative of redemption from the perspective of a woman who was wronged, which is definitely a little refreshing.


What did you think of Lemonade? Beyonce’s best or nah? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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