LEMONADE is Empowerment

If you haven’t heard by now Beyonce has dropped her latest album titled LEMONADE. Both the visual and audio album is flawless at least in my eyes. I know there are many people who hold the same opinion as me, and I also there are people who don’t like it. And I’m high key side eyeing those people.

At this point, Beyonce has proven she has a worthy artist; that she is talented. That she can make  songs in different genres and still slay. Yet, there are still people who don’t want to see it, and frankly, I have no energy or patience to discuss with people who clearly are highly against Beyonce.

However, I’m not here to put down any who doesn’t like Beyonce cause really we would just be going around in circles. Nobody has time for that. So I’m here to celebrate Beyonce, and how LEMONADE made me feel. If you follow me on my other social media, you know I love and praise this album.  This album means a lot to me. And it really hit a personal spot for me.

The visual album is everything to me; it’s something that I wish I had when I was a little girl. But still as a woman the album made a deep impact on me. Seeing Beyonce, Serena Williams, Winnie Harlow, Amandla Sternberg,  Zendaya, Quvenzhane Wallis, etc being shown as strong, beautiful, black girls and women was so empowering to watch. It made me proud to be a black woman.

I know that my upbringing isn’t the same for every single black girl or woman out there, but there is one thing that I believe most black girls and women can relate to: feeling unworthy because we are both black and female.  Black girls and women are constantly reminded that we aren’t good enough. That the only way for us to be considered beautiful is to cave into European standards of beauty, but even then, we can get mocked and ridiculed for merely existing.

We have to speak so eloquently, always be well mannered; we must always be calm and happy at all times. We must distance ourselves from our blackness as much as possible to be considered worthy in so many non-black people’s eyes. But even then we do that, again, we are still often treated as we don’t matter.

Black women are even told how ugly, unworthy, and stupid we are by black boys and men. And those are the same black men and boys that always expect us to be there for them when the world is being unjust to them. Yet, often times, when black girls and women are being faced with unjustness, they aren’t there for us. As Malcom X said:

“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman”

Which that quote does make it into the visual album for LEMONADE. It still speaks truth to this day.

Beyonce presented us with a visual album that celebrates blackness unapologetically. That celebrates black womanhood more than anything. Black girls and women need this because there are so many of us who  have felt or might even still feel: unwanted, unworthy, ugly,  and unloved.

Beyonce showed us that black girls are beautiful, strong, can feel deep sadness, anger, happiness, love, and still be worthy of existing. That we can wear our hair natural or not. We can be dark skinned black girls or light skinned black girls and still be queens.

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It’s not easy unlearning internalized misogyny and racism when it has been shoved down our throats for years. But more and more black girls and women have been open about celebrating themselves/us that are more of us being enlightened and feeling empowered.

The new generation of black girls will know a world where they matter always. And that is beautiful.

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The Intro Ep-Ruth B-Review

I felt that my first blog post on here would make sense to review Ruth B’s  The Intro Ep  due that it is Ruth’s introduction into the music industry, and well obviously my introduction on here. Also a song of her’s inspired my title of my site (you’ll see).

Ruth B is a Canadian singer-songwriter who not only has a mesmerizing voice, but is a talented musician, who I hope will make a huge splash in the industry. She conveys her emotion in each song so subtly, but it still manages to poke at your heartstrings and emotions. Every song on her EP really paints a beautifully connected one mega-arching story of love, which I’m going to discuss my interpretation of this love story.

The first song off the EP is “2 Poor Kids”. This song is very straight forward, but the simplicity of it to me is everything. It is an anthem that the only thing that matters at the core of life is love, and also how outside influences can be poisonous to a  relationship. The couple in the song are also so in love with each other at moment of time none of the outside problems of the world can bring them down. I think that is (obviously) the ultimate for relationships (romantic or platonic); nothing or no one can destroy it.

He picks her up in a Benz,
But my lover comes by himself and a dozen roses,
He probably stole ’em.
He’s got a smudge of mud on his eye
Here to makes me break into smile,
‘Cause he drives them mad, oh, he drives them mad.

‘Cause they think it’s a shame
That the world will never know our names,
But I think that’s okay,
‘Cause love gets ruined by money and power and fame.”

I love this part of the song especially about the stolen roses, the smudge of mud, and how “he” makes her smile. And this assumption might just be the story-teller in me, but I believe those little bits play majorly into the next song, because the subject “he” of that song would fit the characteristics described here in “2 Poor Kids”.

“Lost Boy” is the second song on the EP, and the most known song from it. This is the song I first heard by Ruth B. , and the song struck a major cord in me for many reasons. 1) I LOVE Peter Pan. 2) I’m a sucker for fairy tale moments in real life. 3) It’s just an amazing song, and my favorite song on the whole EP.

Check it:

I can honestly write an entire essay about this song, but I’ll just try my best to be short and sweet about this one. I see this song as backtracking in time  to the beginning for this love story that I believe that is being told throughout the EP.

The opening lyrics start with her telling us that she was lonely and didn’t have a true place for herself, until she meets her Peter Pan who clearly saves her from the loneliness and giving her a sense of home. Maybe, it’s just my personal mesmerization with Peter Pan and the all of the elements that come with the fairy tale, but the emotions she conveys in this song makes me feel as this is the boy she fell in love that made her feel like nothing else mattered but him.

I am a lost boy from Neverland
Usually hanging out with Peter Pan
And when we’re bored we play in the woods
Always on the run from Captain Hook
“Run, run, lost boy, ” they say to me
Away from all of reality

The first two songs of the EP really tie together nicely expressing the deep love and the happiness that this relationship had at least in the beginning.  “Lost Boy” definitely expresses that small piece of real life fairy tale that love can often make us feel like we’re living in. And then there’s a shift in this story with the third song.

“Golden” , the third song, is Ruth’s message of surviving the heartbreak and pain that this Peter Pan put her through. She has risen from all of the pain and is stronger than ever before as she  says, well sings, “I am golden”.

Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking, damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

There is a line in the song in how he tried to make her be someone she’s not, which I think many of us can relate to.  And in the fourth and finally song of the EP, “Superficial Love”, explains more of what began the downfall for these two in this love story.

“Superficial Love” starts off with her admitting she thinks he’s cute, but their relationship has to be more than that. And as the song progresses, it really ties in with the other three songs.  I see this song as a stage in a relationship were the rose colored glasses have fallen off and finally beginning to see things how they are.

I think the final song makes it clear why she sees him as Peter Pan through and through. Peter Pan is supposed to be a fun-magical-escape filled with a bit of mischief, but that can’t be forever. You need more than that which is something that Wendy Darling in the J.M Barrie novel and the 2003 live adaption tells Peter. Peter couldn’t accept this. Ruth’s Peter couldn’t either. So both Wendy and Ruth leave their Peter Pans because despite the fun he was at the beginning, you need more than that.

“Fun at first, I won’t deny
But I want more than just what meets the eye.
I wanna know when you’re looking at me
That you see deep into my personality”

“This superficial love thing got me going crazy
Baby if you want me, then you better need me
‘Cause I’m so done, not being your number one
And if you wanna keep me, then you better treat me
Like a damn princess, make that an empress
‘Cause I’m so done, not being your number one
This superficial love”

No, the songs aren’t in a linear order, as the famous quote goes , “every story has a beginning, middle, and end. But it’s not always told in that order”.  Maybe Ruth wasn’t really going for one singular relationship’s story throughout the EP, but that’s how it came off to me.  She fell in love with someone who yes took the burden of her loneliness away , who gave her a magical escape, but ultimately both saw things differently.

He wanted something that was fun, light hearted,  and mischievous; she wanted more than that. He tried so hard to make her want to stay and be like him and see things the way he does. Clearly, that couldn’t happen. But he also broke her and wanted her to feel guilty for questioning him. Peter Pan does this to Wendy Darling.  “I want to always be a boy and have fun.”

I wish Ruth B all of the luck in the world.  I’m simply in love with this EP.