After setting down a literal “Foundation” in February, Beyoncé has returned with her sixth album, titled Lemonade. It made its debut as a visual album on HBO, followed by an exclusive release on Tidal, the music streaming service owned by her husband, Shawn Carter.
Her most deeply personal album to date, the Houston-born singer didn’t back off of the controversy created by “Foundation.” Instead she leaped further into the fire with a collection of 12 songs, examining the bedrock institution of marriage, monogamy and generational dysfunction and resilience, especially as experienced through the lens of black woman in America. The album creates not just a tribute, but also a bridge to understanding for those willing to cross it.
Similar to “Foundation,” detailing all the effort that went into creating the album boggles the mind and if nothing else speaks to Beyoncé’s other worldly levels of dedication to creating deeply textured and meaningful work. If there is a harder working person in show business more willing to lay it all on the line for his/her art, we know not who that person is.
Find below all the detail about Lemonade we could find thus far.
Lemonade: The title of the album was inspired by Carter’s grandmother, Hattie White, who is featured at the end of the film in a clip from her 90th birthday in 2015 saying, “I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.”
Direction: There were seven directors involved in the making of the Lemonage visual and they are as follows: Jonas Åkerlund, Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Kahlil Joseph, Melina Matsoukas (who directed “Formation”), Dikayl Rimmasch, Mark Romanek and Todd Tourso. More details on their work at IndieWire.
Album Credits: A very short list of well known artist participants include Soulja Boy, Diplo, Kendrick Lamar, Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Jack White. Billboard magazine did a much deeper dive, detailing ever bit of the album credits it could dig up.
Cameos: In addition to individuals listed below, the video included guest appearances by Beyoncé’s sweet daughter, Blue Ivy, her husband, Shawn Carter, and his grandmother, the aforementioned Hattie White. Family members also include her mother, Tina Lawson, who is shown with her newish husband, Richard Lawson. Touchingly, the video also includes images of black women holding images of their sons, all of whom were victims of gun violence. They are Gwen Carr and Eric Garner, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown and Sybrina Fulton and Trayvon Martin. Info via Fadar that provides a few additional names.
Poetry and Spoken Word: In addition to music and a script Beyoncé in part wrote, she reads poetry written by Warsan Shire, including “If we’re going to heal, let it be glorious in the song “Love Drought. Find more on Shire in a recent profile by The New Yorker. The video also includes an audio clip from a speech Malcolm X made in Los Angeles in 1962, stating “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.” (The entire script via Genius can be found below.)
Lyrics of Interest: In the song “Sorry,” Beyonce calls out “Becky with the good hair,” a presumed reference to the woman her husband had an affair with. Since the infamous elevator incident in May of 2014, involving herself, her sister, Solange Knowles and Carter, it’s long been rumored that Rachel Roy was the cause of all the ish, and early this morning the designer posted an instagram with the caption “good hair don’t care,” perhaps outing herself as the “side chick.” The Beyhive descended, causing Roy to make her Instagram page private.
Beauty: Nigerian-born Laolu Senbanjo leaned into Yoruba culture to create the makeup looks featured in the bus scene for the song “Sorry.”
Hair: Beyoncé was featured in as many different hairstyles as she was fashion looks and head stylist Kim Kimble kindly credited the entire team in an Instagram post.
Shout out to all these fabulous people who worked on this #slayage! kendragarvey @gfsalon @kimmimcallister @iamshantellmallard @lenajaye_ @ash_bedoinitwell @tater_pazon @brandi_doesmyhair @mels_headquarters @cedric_theloctherapist @chrisgees @kristajee3 @tildebymatilde #kimbleized #kimkimble #lemonade #beyonce #beyhive #queenbey #kimkimblehair #braids #slay #hair #hairstylist #celebritystylist #celebrity A photo posted by Kim Kimble (@kimblehaircare) on
Stylist Shantell Mallard provided a screen capture of hair-related video credits:
Styling: Most of the looks were put together by longtime Beyoncé fashion Sherpa Marni Senofonte. See details below, by no means an exhaustive list!
Robert Cavalli by Peter Dundas yellow gown autumn 2015 with Saint Laurent platform sandals; worn during “Hold Up.”
@beyonce wearing a #RobertoCavalliFW16 yellow off-the-shoulder ruffle plisse gown by @peter_dundas in her new video album #Lemonade #Beyonce #CavalliGirl #CavalliCrew #CavalliCelebrities A video posted by Roberto Cavalli (@roberto_cavalli) on
Hood by Air fur, Yeezy Season 3 crop top & three-quarter-length leggings; worn during “Don’t Hurt Yourself.”
Yousef Aljasmi black beaded body suit; worn during “Sorry.”
Zana Bayne custom leather cone bra
Nicholas JeBran gown
House of Malakai couture headpiece
Dancer Michaela DePrince wearing Christian Siriano
In the group shot below, Beyoncé wears Rosie Assoulin resort 2016; shown in the image below from left to right: Chloe Bailey (half of singing duo Chloe x Halle, who are signed to Bey’s label), twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz (who form music duo Ibeyi), Amandla Stenberg, Hailey Bailey (Chloe’s sister) and Zendaya. Newheart Ohanian provided additional styling of Amandla Stenberg and Zendaya who wore a combination of Rosie Assoulin and vintage.
Ohanian also styled Winnie Harlow in Rosie Assoulin
Ohanian handled Serena Williams, who wore Brandon Maxwell
Lemonade Tracklist 1. Pray You Catch Me 2. Hold Up 3. Don’t Hurt Yourself featuring Jack White 4. Sorry 5. 6 Inch featuring The Weeknd 6. Daddy Lessons 7. Love Drought 8. Sandcastles 9. Forward featuring James Blake 10. Freedom featuring Kendrick Lamar 11. All Night 12. Formation