This is not another Lemonade post. Banange, can’t a brother just talk about Beyoncé and it is not about lemons? Anyway, I lie, this post is actually about Lemonade.
For two weeks now I’ve been calling Lemonade a song and have to be constantly reminded that it actually is an album with songs that include “Formation”. Now, I have not watched “Formation” but I did watch upto 15 minutes of the Lemonade album. I couldn’t tell the names of the song. I was allowing myself to see what the hullabaloo about Beyoncé’s new music was.
Initially watching the videos got me thinking that this was a good piece of music. A well expressed volume of emotion and another testament to Beyoncé’s guarded life off the screen and explosive life on it. Then I read this blog and agreed on a few points. One of them which was, the devil is in the details. I asked a friend of mine what she thought about the blog and she directed me to another blog which enlightened me on some issues but still emphasising the point -“the devil is in the details”.
Now, me and said friend had a small discussion about the two blogs. It was evident that in our dealings with each other, we usually apply a pass/fail system. Perhaps that is something in born or learned but it is evident.
James 3:10-12New King James Version (NKJV)
10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.[a]
In our conversation, as we talked about Matt Walsh’s criticism of Beyoncé, I was asked to consider the fact that Beyoncé has done a lot of good, in charities, encouraging women and so much more. She also asked me to consider there might not be as much criticism against men icons who might say some immoral things; like Eminem. The rapper came to the limelight with very sharp lyrics about his mother, his wife and many women he didn’t like. I love Eminem’s style and have a few favourites, basically songs that show his humanity, for example when he sings about his daughter. Now, that is the side Sharon’s blog highlighted on Beyoncé’s side – a “good” side rather than a bad.
It seems then that the human condition is a contradiction. Beyoncé can destroy your daughter as much as she can empower her. She will release “Bootylicious” and then later release “Ave Maria”. Eminem can make you love your daughter with “When I’m Gone” but can also influence hatred on women with “My Name Is”. It’s really absurd is it not? As absurd as DMX constantly struggling with issues and a dream to be a pastor. As absurd as spending the least time with the people we say we love. There are things we hate about white culture and things we love about it; things we despise about black culture and things we love about it.
Man is a cookie made out of, for lack of a better word, dirt. The mix of sugar and dirt present a complex nature who at many times is agreeable and many other times disagreeable. (Please note the imagery used is not meant to be a representation of the creation of man, rather a representation of where he is after the fall).
Paul writes and says “ 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
We don’t get it, do we? Black power. White supremacy. Feminism. Patriarchy. Each of these have in themselves a human factor that fails. A sugar that was enjoyed subjectively. Humanity endeavours to reach peaks in tech, art, science however at the end of the day, even when it seems we are there, we are only revealed to be wretched. Needy. Longing. A Yahoo! that ends. A Tiger Woods that fails. A Fela Kuti that dies.
Bey’s Lemonade conveys how at the end of the day she cannot stay angry and wants to love, Eminem is like a beast calmed by a little flower.
Oh, how wretched we are in our glory.
At our best, we are at our worst because that is who we are. A cookie made with dirt. And therefore he writes and says “no one should glory in the flesh.” Beyoncé, Eminem are the same. In each there is a longing for an end to a struggle. There is a law, internally and even externally which condemns all but leads to one. Outside him, all is dung.
When life gives us lemons, we make lemonade. It could be that simple, but is it?