Queen B as you've never seen her before
Oh to have been a fly on the wall when Beyonce gave Jay Z the first playback of her storming new album: Lemonade.
Pop artists frequently mine their own lives for their music, but by the time we get to hear the finished product the personal feelings have been so deliberately watered down into catch-all lyrics that they could really apply to anyone.
But when Beyonce sat down to write her new album Lemonade she clearly wasn’t in the mood to water down anything. The result is an extraordinarily punchy record that goes for it with both barrels. The primary target? Her husband Jay-Z.
There have been rumours in the past about Jay-Z’s extra-marital, um, activities, but until now the couple have presented a pretty united front, releasing a carefully curated stream of insider pictures showing them laughing, playing with their daughter and drinking wine on sunny verandas.
But Lemonade reveals an apparent darker side to their power union.
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First there’s this line from the brilliant, fired up track ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’:
‘Who the f*ck do you think I am? / You ain’t married to no average b*tch, boy / You can watch my fat ass twist, boy / As I bounce to the next dick, boy.’
(To which the Beyonce fanbase collectively shouts ‘yes Bey!’)
She then appears to present her husband with an ultimatum:
‘This is your final warning / You know I give you life / If you try this sh*t again / You gon’ lose your wife’
In her song ‘Sorry’ she explores the ‘wife waiting at home’ cliche:
‘Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home / Today I regret the night I put that ring on / He always got them f**king excuses.’
Then there’s this line about Becky and her ‘good hair’ (more on this later):
‘He only want me when I’m not on there / He better call Becky with the good hair.’
In Pray You Catch Me’ she sings:
‘You can taste the dishonesty / It’s on your breath as you pass it off so cavalier’
Things also get pretty close to the bone in ‘Intuition’:
‘I tried to make a home out of you but doors lead to trap doors, a stairway leads to nothing. Unknown women wander the hallways at night. Where do you go when you go quiet?’
‘You remind me of my father, a magician… able to exist in two places at once. 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 f*cking curse.’
(Hmm… what could she be talking about?!)
Fashion designer Rachel Roy – who Jay-Z is rumoured to have had a fling with – threw petrol on the bonfire this weekend when she posted up an Instagram shot with the highly loaded caption ‘Good hair don’t care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueens’ – a post that led fans to conclude Rachel is indeed ‘Becky with the good hair.’
She was subsequently pelted with so many negative comments from Beyonce fans she was forced to lock her account and delete the post. She retaliated with the following tweet:
It’s worth noting that all of the heat surrounding the lyrics is of course just speculation, and it would seem Beyonce and Jay-Z have patched up their marriage given Beyonce’s album is only available to download via Jay-Z’s much-maligned streaming site TIDAL. Plus there’s nothing like a bit of extra drama to boost your album sales.
Even so, we see this punchier, angrier, no BS Beyonce – and we like her.