First, lemme get some things out of the way so that you can understand the context of this post.
- I’m NOT a Bey stan. I’ve never seen her in concert. I’ve paid to see Solage and Hov, but have no desire to see Bey in concert.
- I do not tear out my edges and sacrifice them on a bee-covered altar every time she releases something.
- The first full ALBUM I’ve owned by Ms. B was her last album.
- If the headline made you think that you’ll find hotepisms or AshyCheyB quotes scattered throughout this post, you have come to the wrong place.
Okay. Let’s proceed.
I tuned in shortly after Lemonade dropped. I had ignored social media for the hours leading up to it for unrelated reasons. When I did tune in, my TL was covered in lemon emojis. With a sigh I thought, “what has Beysus done now?” I found a link to Lemonade (HBO Canada, who dropped the ball on this?) and listened with half an ear. Even then, I only listened to a few tracks.
Hey…this is good. The kind where you find you’re screwing up your face as you nod along.
Woke up the next morning and all my chats were LEMONADE focused. Found another link (seriously MTV Canada, MuchMusic…Vice…anyone? Beyoncé could very well be on the $20…she’s guaranteed to print you money) and watched again.
WAIT. “HOT SAUCE” is her BAT?!!? Wooooi. G’head Bey!
Sidebar: when should I tell a man that I already own a bat?
(I really do. It’s a treasured memento from my days on my Junior and High school teams. First girl to play on my elementary school’s team…)
I’m am HERE for angry Beyoncé. Bat-wielding Beyoncé. Set shit on fire Beyoncé. Rip out her sternum Beyoncé.
Gone is the “Cater 2 U” Beyoncé. The “Crazy in Love” Beyoncé would “…rather be crazy” and I LOVE this.
Friends have started to ask me directly for my thoughts. But there are LEVELS. I’m not ready yet. Instead I gossip about “Becky with the good hair” (my official theory: “Becky”is a composite). One friend admits she had to google where your sternum is located…I admit that I already knew because I have threatened to rip one out before. I joke that hell hath no fury like a Virgo woman scorned. When it’s really bad, we’ll go silent and then rip you apart when you least expect it. This will happen months….YEARS later.
When you thought you were safe.
One of my girlfriends texts me to say we have to go for drinks and discuss Lemonade in depth.
“hahahaha, I legit thougt of you at a couple of moments hahah.” I’ve decided my favourite song is “Sorry”. But not because of Becky, but because of the hook.
“I ain’t sorry…I ain’t sorry…I ain’t sorry…”
THIS Beyoncé I love. The defiantly unapologetic Beyoncé.
That’s when I realized why I was single. Well, not REALIZED, but had something that could confirm it.
This album – and really it IS an album; there is not ONE radio-friendly song on here – examines relationships. Not just THE relationship between her and Jay, but ALL her relationships. She talks about the work, the effort, the struggle, the pain, the joy, the confusion, the conflict.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD YO.
Whenever I hear stories from my girlfriends who are in relationships I roll my eyes and say, “THIS is why I’m single. I can’t deal with this shit.”
(Again. I always forget to add “again”.)
It’s true. I’m not ready to accept a person’s failings. I’ve done that. I’m not ready to put in the effort, especially if I don’t think the effort will be matched.
You ain’t trying hard enough
You ain’t loving hard enough
You don’t love me deep enough
We not reaching peaks enough
Blindly in love, I fucks with you
‘Til I realize, I’m just too much for you
I’m just too much for you
I often say/warn people that I’m a LOT to deal with”. In the past, I’ve slowed down to match someone’s pace. Compromised to match. Conceded to match.
Notice how I frame all of these as negatives? Because that’s how I view what so many others call “balance”.
Let me be clear: I’m not looking for PASSION or CONFLICT or DRAMA. But I am looking for someone to walk in stride with me. Not behind. Not ahead. By my side. Does this make sense?
Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you
Back up, they don’t love you like I love you
Oooh. This I know. I love fiercely. I will be your number one cheerleader. I will “Spend my life in the dark for the sake of you and me.” The very idea of giving that much and not getting that in return?
(Where’s that bat?)
Ooooookaaaaay. Lemme give “forgiveness Beyoncé a listen. On “Sandcastles”, I realize she’s playing the keyboard. I had just been reminded that Prince told her to learn piano and she’d be unstoppable. Sounds like she listened. G’head Bey…
Her voice breaks on Sandcastles, and sigh. There it is. I know that break so well. That break is when you realize that the person standing in front of you doesn’t give what you give. They don’t love you like you love them. They’ve taken all that shine and they still choose to leave you in the dark.
You’re not angry. You’re not even annoyed. You are just so, disappointed.
So very disappointed.
With yourself. Disappointed that you let this person past all your boundaries. That you conceded on things. That you compromised. That you forgave failings. That you slowed down and you are not where you want to be because you didn’t want to leave THEM behind.
That you made lemonade out of lemons..
That they KNEW all this and they STILL fucked up.
You’re not even as mad at them as you are at yourself.
These feelings apply to ALL relationships. Romantic. Friendship. Situationships.
All. Of. Them.
So begins the process of forgiveness and letting go, because YOU will never be able to move forward unless you do. You leave them behind as they cry. But another brick is added to the wall around yourself. A brick that no one else can chip away at. It’s a little piece to remind you.
Don’t hurt yourself.
So, now I own TWO Beyoncé albums
*NB this post is about how aspects of this album relate to me on a personal level. If you’re looking for a good breakdown of the album and all the themes, read this piece by Sajae Elder on Noisey