When Prince and David Bowie passed away, I wasn't sure if music would be the same. Sure, I still have K-Pop and I blast my favorite singers' songs, but that might not have been enough. Heck, I'm still floored over Michael Jackson's death. I was convinced that music was slowly fading into obscurity.
Then Beyoncé released Lemonade.
Each song tells a story of jealousy, but still remains strong and confident throughout a relationship with a cheater (I'm talking to you, Jay-Z and Becky with the Good Hair). Personally, I wasn't ready for the artistically amazing sounds of Lemonade. Beyoncé puts out an album, without any advertisement or hints, and sits and waits to hear everyone's reaction to it. She keeps surprising everyone with her creativity and music. Who can forget, from her last surprise album, the glory of "Drunk in Love" with its iconic way of pronouncing surfboard? Or when she's getting us to turn up with "7/11" and "Smack it, smack it in the air"?
While I am a fan of her music, Lemonade shows how much Beyoncé has grown musically. This album recognizes and celebrates black women and black culture. Even though I still blast her past songs like "Deja Vu" and "Crazy in Love," Lemonade proves to be one of my favorite albums of 2016. Listening to her whole album, I am glad that the world still has an artist like Beyoncé to share their music. Prince, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and every artist we lost would be proud of her.
While there are many great songs from Lemonade, here are my five favorite songs from Queen Bey herself, plus bonus songs.
1. "Hold Up"
One of the first videos I saw when I was scrolling through Facebook, "Hold Up" is one heck of a video. The song is an ode to her husband, Jay-Z, who she loves but questions his loyalty to her. "Hold Up" has memorable lines such as, "What's worse? Lookin' jealous or crazy?" while sampling from popular songs like Soulja Boy "Tell 'Em's": "I hop up out the bed and get my swag on/I look in the mirror, say, 'What's up?'" Plus, she has "Hot Sauce" labeled on her bat. She has Hot Sauce labeled on her bat.
The first track from Lemonade is the most emotional ballad and is different from Beyoncé's previous releases. Unlike her other ballads, "Pray You Catch Me" tugs on listeners' heartstrings on being suspicious of her lover's actions. "Pray You Catch Me" displays Queen Bey's vulnerability on love and needing strength.
Moving from one of Lemonade's emotional ballads to one of my favorite songs, "Don't Hurt Yourself." With the help of guitarist Jack White, Beyoncé displays her badass self through this rock R&B track, giving "Don't Hurt Yourself" character and letting everything go.
If you're someone named Becky, have good hair, and allegedly had an affair with Jay-Z, you might not like this song. However, if you're like me who just loves hearing "Sorry Not Sorry" songs sung by Beyoncé, "Sorry" will be your new favorite. A low-key song about giving zero cares and calling a cheater out on a night out. Beyoncé shows that she is not sorry.
A song about her father that gets too real. With its country sound, Beyoncé goes back to her roots and croons about what her father taught her. Country may not be my favorite favorite music genre, but "Daddy Lessons" provides a strong message on what our family taught us and how their words shaped us today.
Something about this song is empowering. Along with a video filled with cameos from Zendaya to Amandla Stenberg, "Freedom" celebrates strong black women and every person of color.
Yes, this song is about forgiving Jay-Z. Yes, her music video features Jay-Z. "Sandcastle," however, is one of the most emotional songs Beyoncé has released. Like "Pray You Catch Me," "Sandcastles" shows her vulnerable side especially on relationships. "Sandcastle" also displays a natural side of Beyoncé that I rarely see from her previous tracks. I personally love this song because of how natural and emotional it is.
Do I really need to have an explanation?
To see the full "Lemonade Visual Album" in all its glory, check it out on Tidal or HBO.