Beyonce’s Lemonade – An R&B-Rooted Narrative of Overcoming Adversity

Isabel Harris Eide
Isabel Harris Eide

Isabel Harris Eide studies psychology at the University of Miami and enjoys playing sports such as tennis and volleyball. Also passionate about music, Isabel Harris Eide enjoys a variety of genres, from dance music to R&B and hip hop. One of the most critically acclaimed releases of early 2016, hip hop megastar Beyoncé’s sixth solo album, Lemonade, was, like her previous album, released with minimal notice through a guerrilla marketing campaign.

In many ways, Lemonade is the ultimate contemporary concept album, as it traces a narrative of “infidelity and reconciliation” that is informed by her high-profile marriage to rapper Jay-Z. It is also an assertion of pride in Beyoncé’s ethnicity as an African American and in the musical forebears and collaborators that inform her identity, from Nina Simone to The Weeknd.

An accompanying HBO movie brings home the visual nature of the album and focuses on the importance of overcoming obstacles and challenges across generations. Lemonade-making and the ability to make something from nothing are the thematic glue that underpins her multigenerational concept of woman-rooted strength.