For the last 3 or so years, “pulling a Beyoncé” has meant “dropping a surprise album with no warning” — well, on Saturday night, Beyoncé pulled a Beyoncé.
Exclusive to Tidal for the first 2 days (not to panic, iTunes/Spotify/Apple Music users), Lemonade is Beyoncé’s first album since 2013, when she dropped her well-known self-titled album that almost completely revolutionized and changed the traditional album released. Since then, other artists have taken notes from her and dropped their own surprise albums, such as Rihanna’s ANTi (2016), Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015), and D’Angelo’s Black Messiah (2014). Although she wasn’t the first to drop an album out of nowhere, she definitely made the concept famous and interchangeable with her name; on that day, Beyoncé was all anyone was talking about.
Beyoncé announced Lemonade a week in advance, yet too cryptically for anyone to really know what was going on. All she told us was something called “Lemonade” was being shown on HBO on April 23rd — as the time came, everyone realized that Beyoncé was dropping a short film to go along with her album (a visual album, if you will). The album itself was promptly released on the streaming service Tidal, which Beyoncé is a partner of.
For those of you without a Tidal subscription, here are the highlights:
- The short film includes stars like Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, Serena Williams, and Quvenzhané Wallis
- It appears to be highlighting black excellence and the Black Lives Matter movement specifically, showing the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown holding pictures of their sons
- Beyoncé shares personal stories of being cheated on by her husband, Jay-Z in “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, “Sorry”, and “Hold Up”
- Writers on this album include Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, Swae Lee from Rae Sremmurd, Boots, Mike Will Made-It, Father John Misty, and many more
- The album includes features from Kendrick Lamar (“Freedom”), Jack White (“Don’t Hurt Yourself”), James Blake (“Forward”), and The Weeknd (“6 Inch”).
- The album samples Yeah Yeah Yeahs, OutKast, Led Zeppelin, and Soulja Boy
See the full track list below & stream it on Tidal here.
1. Pray You Catch Me
2. Hold Up
3. Don’t Hurt Yourself (feat. Jack White)
5. 6 Inch (feat. The Weeknd)
6. Daddy Lessons
7. Love Drought
9. Forward (feat. James Blake)
10. Freedom (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
11. All Night