Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Trailer May Tease A Concept Video, But What Is The Concept?
This past Sunday was truly a blessed one because Beyoncé delivered the extended trailer for Lemonade, set to air on HBO April 23, into the hands of us mere mortals. We woke up with the blinders on, but, by the time, we laid our heads on our pillows, our lives were forever changed. The extended teaser is, in typical Beyoncé fashion, a master class in cryptic imagery. Additionally, a source has come forward stating that Lemonade is actually a "lengthy concept video." What does all of this mean? How can we, a ragtag bunch of devoted followers, unravel the web that Beyoncé is weaving in the days leading up to April 23? What bits of information can we glean from the trailer and what will we uncover when we do?
Beyoncé is no stranger to a) surprising her fans and b) elevating our consciousness through music videos. The last time she released an album — please let Lemonade be a new album, Queen Bey — it was more than two years ago. That is borderline Frank Ocean-level behavior, and it's making us restless. It was an iconic moment not only in her career, but also iconic for the music industry, too. She circumvented the traditional album release pattern and rocked our worlds out of nowhere. If that wasn't blessing enough, she also gave us a complete visual album, each video more stunning than the last. Videos for "Haunted," "Grown Woman," and "Pretty Hurts" are beautifully shot and full of message-laden imagery (which she further capitalized on with the release of "Formation" in January).
Which leads us to Lemonade. The trailer presents us with strong shots: thunder rolling across the grasslands, a child peeking through wooden slats, black women seated in formation with their faces painted, and, most importantly, Beyoncé in various states of contemplation and anger (one particularly jarring image shows her angrily destroying a CCTV feed):
If "Formation" was discussing contemporary black identity in America, Lemonade, as a longer concept video, could be an exploration of Beyoncé's personal definition of black identity. Beyoncé is a notoriously guarded public figure, which means we could be granted deeper access into her own psyche as she mixes the personal with the political and the artistic. Lemonade's trailer, through its imagery and fragmented phrases, indicates that, while there may be a crisis of identity, Beyoncé is maturing into a woman deeply connected with her physical and emotional self.
The trailer indicates a deep love for her family as well as they ways in which she is influenced by her environment (something she touched on in the Ivy Park trailer); these ideas are quickly shaping up to be core themes in this new phase of her career. Unpacking these themes in the context of a larger concept video could prove to be incredibly exciting, given that her fans are ever-hungry to get closer to Queen Bey.
No matter what Lemonade actually is, it will surely herald another exceptionally iconic phase in Beyoncé's already extensive and successful career. Is it April 23 yet?