NEW YORK — The internet went into overdrive Saturday night as Beyonce debuted her new visual album “Lemonade” on HBO. Like her last release, the series of stylized music videos defies industry convention.
But the fuss surrounding her album this time isn’t so much on its musicality, fashion or even the innovative way it was presented. Instead, it’s the deeply emotional lyrics that reference a cheating spouse that has fans in an uproar.
Throughout the album, references are made to an unfaithful husband, its ensuing emotional pain and a couple’s confrontation.
Case in point? The song “Sorry,” where Beyonce sings: “I see them boppers in the corner / They sneaking out the back door / He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair.”
The singer is married to rapper Jay Z.
The end of the hour-long video sees Beyonce appear with Jay Z and their daughter Blue Ivy looking happy together.
A visual album
Not all the reaction focused on a marriage possibly in trouble.
‘Lemonade’ touched on empowerment, love and the Black Lives Matter movement, and ultimately, Beyonce told the story of a woman not to be trifled with.
“Lemonade” was an ode to black women, and a deeply personal story at the same time. Beyonce shared home movies of her father, her wedding to Jay Z, her pregnancy and daughter Blue Ivy’s birthday party.
Beyonce made a statement using the appearances of women holding photos of black men who have died. Among the women were the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, who held images of their sons. The chapter was marked “Resurrection.”
As “Lemonade” wrapped, the new album of the same name appeared on Tidal, Jay Z’s streaming service.
The “world premiere event” on HBO had been eagerly awaited by the Beyonce faithful. HBO, which is owned by Time Warner, CNN’s parent company, offered a free preview weekend.
Her fans have been waiting not so patiently since February 6, when her single “Formation” debuted on Tidal and its controversial video dropped on YouTube.
The video contained imagery connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. Coupled with Beyonce’s provocative lyrics, the images inspired much conversation about matters of race and culture.
The debate intensified the next day, when the superstar performed with Coldplay and Bruno Mars during the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. Her appearance with back up dancers dressed in Black Panther styled military gear incensed some people who believed she was being anti-police.
Ever since, fans have speculated about “Project Lemonade.” They pointed to “clues,” including photos of lemons Beyonce posted on social media.