Great article! I’ll say this about this debate: “Lemonade” was a love letter from a Black woman to Black women (and by some extension, Black people as a whole). It wasn’t written for the masses, and because of that I think the Grammy’s voting body just ignored it, as did the mainstream buying public.
“Lemonade” tapped into so much of the Black female experience that the album felt personal. Everything from “Formation” celebrating Black noses, Black natural hair, and Red Lobster (who didn’t hit up Red Lobster after church AT LEAST once!?), to “Sorry” reminding cheating dudes that she can and will get you back, was a recognition of the Black female experience. It wasn’t about creating a new dance or the latest club track. It was for her people.
“Lemonade” captured that spirit in an album and was able to do what music is meant to do — touch the soul. But because those souls were that of Black women, the artistry, creativity, and brave exploration of sound wasn’t honored by the Grammy’s. But they certainly didn’t mind having it front and center for Beyonce to give the night’s most memorable performance.