Vincent Desmond
Apr 25, 2019 · 3 min read

Reminiscing On Lemonade

2016 — I didn’t listen to Lemonade the day it came out. I didn’t listen to it the day after. I listened to it almost two weeks after. Me. The boy who had spent most of his life being in awe of every and any thing Beyoncé. I remember once I went to a random hookup’s house and he started an argument about Beyoncé’s artistry and vocal abilities, saying that Shakira was an even better singer and overall artist. We never spoke after that day, even though his street is maybe four streets away from where I still live. This same boy didn’t listen to a new Beyoncé album- an epic and world changing one like Lemonade- the day or week it came out. If it was any year other than 2016, I wouldn’t have believed it. But it was 2016. That year.

When I eventually listened to it, Lemonade was the album that started my healing for everything that kept me away from it. You see, in 2016 I was a seventeen year old boy in love, stuck in what still remains the most toxic relationship I have ever been. With a man who had me believe he was in love with me but couldn’t commit to me. In 2016, I started writing again because Beyoncé showed me how much beauty you could create from hurt. In 2016, I also dropped out of the university and told the man Boy Bye.

It was Don’t Hurt Yourself that pulled the trigger for me.

When I listened to the album, I didn’t have any background knowledge on it. I hadn’t heard any of the rumors about Beyoncé’s husband cheating on her. My best friend simply told me I was so obsessed and focused on the man in my life at the time and his philandering that I hadn’t even listened to. Beyoncé’s new album because he made a reference and I didn’t understand it. I got the album and I listened to Don’t Hurt Yourself first. Like every normal person, after listening to the song I felt anger. Unlike some people, I had legitimate reasons to be angry. I was cheapening myself, settling for less, accepting a man who claimed to have feelings for me but not enough to not sleep with other boys and girls.

When I eventually left, it was Sorry. It was Sorry that kept playing in my head, from mid-2016 when I finally said Boy Bye through when I almost got committed to a mental institution because my folks (and I) thought I had gone crazy (story for another day, maybe.) right till December 2016. I know I was still playing Sorry when I felt happiness again. When I started writing, started creating again — it was Formation. It doesn’t make sense but it was Formation. Everything about it was beautiful. It made want to create and tell stories and uplift.

I still haven’t had my All Night moment yet (i personally believe that Don’t Hurt Yourself, Sorry, All Night and Formation are the most important songs in Lemonade, at least to me). I’m looking forward to it. To experiencing that.

Anyways, go stream Lemonade.

Vincent Desmond

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