Lemonade’s Legacy

I applaud Adele for her last acceptance speech in Album of the Year. She recognized how ’25’ was a great album, but it paled in comparison to ‘Lemonade’ in the effect, empowerment, and era to be redefined by.

I remember buying Lemonade as soon as I got money. I had only heard of Formation from the Super Bowl half-time show and was like wow Beyonce has a new album coming out. I honestly didn’t care much for Beyonce before – yet respected her musicianship. But then once the music video came out and the teasers for the visual came out, I just had to buy it and oh boy I was not disappointed.

Lemonade is art. Through its music to the poetry and its picture, my gosh, is it beautiful. I won’t lie the prose before ‘Hold Up’ with the ‘I plugged my menses¬†with pages from the Holy Book’ inspired some of my writing for a while because it was just an inspiration and work of art through everything it was. ‘Sorry’ was another part of Lemonade I thought was just amazing, the look, choreography, and song is amazing. It’s beautiful and just recalling my first time watching it makes me feel speechless.

Then the cultural effect. There are artists who always skim around social issues and politics by vaguely putting their support for LGBT rights, feminism, or black lives matter, but then Beyonce drops Lemonade and reminds us that this is who she is and the issues that not only affect her because of her race and identity but others that look like her. She didn’t skim around politics, but she made it clear that Black Lives Matter and it is empowering to be a woman, and not only that but how seeing ‘black’ also affects the treatment of women. There is a difference between sexist actions towards a white woman and towards a black woman and Beyonce enlightens us about these issues. With her skin and her sex, she declares how she is proud of both and how it empowers her despite what everyone else tells her.

Lemonade empowered the marginalized and those who thought lowly of themselves because they had darker skin and were women. It showed them that they can be bigger and greater than their perceived worth but in their person.

Adele realized and told millions how it was Lemonade that deserved the award because of the impact it had not only with how much it sold and charts, but with her black friends and how they are now empowered and stand up for themselves. An album that can create that kind of impact of power and understanding of racial issues and construct of intersectional sexism deserved the Grammy award for the next ten years.

But you know, it’s not Adele’s fault for having a tremendous talent win against an equally respected and high talent of Beyonce. Adele rejected her Grammy and expressed how it should’ve been Lemonade – I think that’s real feminism of women recognizing each other’s talents and respecting each other in such an honest way and helping each other no matter how famous they are – but hey who made this contest/award show?

It’s surely not Adele. She showed up to be with other great talents and was nominated for a couple awards. It’s not her fault. More than anything it’s the Grammy’s.

Not only do they pick repeats in categories, but they overlook other great musicians due to popularity and maintaining its image. Most performances are of the pop genre and a selected few are like filler performances of the other genres of jazz, rock, and country. It’s not a wide variety being reflected off a music show of the widest range being picked for nominations or does it expose us to what music can be beside the overplayed pop song and classic band arrangement. It’s not about popularity with only showing pop music, but it should be a reflection of music and all its kinds and forms. It should be about exposing jazz music, classical music, indie rock bands, Latino music, R&B, and all the others forgotten.

I now realize that the performers and nominations selected are those that made some kind of noise within that year, not exactly talent. Music connects us all and shouldn’t be treated as only prioritizing those that made the radio station with Ryan Secreast, but those innovators who are changing the game and leaving their legacy.

Very much like Lemonade has.