It’s now been a little over a week since Beyoncé has released her secret video album Lemonade. And as someone who tends to be fairly critical of modern-day music and the lack of talent that is currently out there, I thoroughly enjoyed the work put into the art. It was well-written, nice vocals, creative in production; it told a story. Nonetheless, majority of the attention received by listeners and viewers has not been on the artwork itself. Instead, focus has been placed on the Beyoncé-Jay Z relationship. And for that, it is necessary that you learn to mix your own damn pitcher of lemonade instead of trying to mooch off of someone else’s beverage.
Let me explain.
The premise of Lemonade includes social, racial and heartbreaking stories that women — particularly black women — have to endure in today’s world. The concept is deep and intensified more so with original poetry and visuals used to express emotion beyond the predictable scope.
But many people are overlooking the art, music and visuals for the gossip of someone else’s love life failing. Is that what society has become? So engrossed in other people’s relationships that there is an anticipation for the negatives? Not to mention that people have their own lives to live, but clearly that is not the priority here.
There is a mixture of two issues here, closely related. The first of which is that people can be absolutely too obsessed with the lives of others. Living vicariously through them. This was seen during the “who’s Becky?” debacle, as Beyoncé alluded that there was a mistress during her relationship on the album. People rushed to find out who this woman was without even thinking whether or not it was one specific woman who compromised Beyoncé and Jay Z’s relationship. Fans dashed to social media at Beyoncé’s defense, attacking women who they thought could have been the culprit. Even a woman’s daughter was thrown into the loop with cyber bullying and actual threats.
Really? Physical threats to a 16 year-old? An adult is one thing, but leave the kids out.
Nonetheless, people were so engrossed with the drama that they sought to create a bigger issue than what was really at hand. It seemed as if no one truly appreciated the art that was created and, instead, hung on the buckling grips of gossip.
The second issue of which dealt with these people, once again so caught up in he-say-she-say, being upset with men in general (because all men are evil or something like that) and so-called mistresses. And yet, these people didn’t have a relationship of their own. Angry and bitter about something that may or may not be true, going to the depths of social media attacks, and yet these are the same people who can’t find love in their own lives. Even if the rumors are true. Where did priorities go?
Lemonade was a perfect example of this, there are occasions — especially as millennials with the help of social media— that we can get too caught up in a world that is not our reality. This in turn can affect the outcome of our own lives, our own personal relationships. Maybe we listen to our friends a little too much for their input in our relationships. The same friends who don’t have a man, never had a man and will probably never GET a man. Then again, maybe we are that friend who dips a little too much in someone else’s Kool-Aid — er, lemonade — becoming judgmental and possessing too much negative energy for anyone to be around.
Is this the current trend that has made our generation a little too narcissistic that we can’t find someone with whom to spend happily ever after or take our lives seriously and really buckle down? Just because we’re too caught up telling other people how to live, who to date, who not to date, what to do if he cheats, that it’s O.K. if one of our girl friends cheats on her guy because they’re not married. Living in a world of contradiction; yes, it’s easier looking outside of the situation rather than diagnosing our own problems. But wouldn’t it help if we at least tried, just once, to squeeze our own lemonade? Not the kind that’s pre-made or the powder mix. But our own homemade concoction, stressed with our own elbow grease to pry the juice from each fruit. Despite the sour lemons that we bought or picked from each branch, we still can manage to make something sweet and to our liking.