The Lemonade Recipe

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Race by chamblee54 on April 27, 2016









As you may have heard, Beyoncé released a new album/video collection. People are talking. Some say it is a work of genius. Piers Morgan liked the less political Beyoncé. Others say that Mr. Morgan’s caucasian opinion is not welcome.

Lemonade is seen by many as an expression of life, and death, in 2016 African America. This is reinforced by opinion pieces like Dear White People Who Write Things: Here’s How To Write About Beyonce’s Lemonade. Some wonder if Lemonade is not an attempt to cash in on some powerful emotions in African America. It is obvious that the work is corporate product, designed to make money. You can express important thoughts, and make money at the same time.

According to Beyoncé’s “creative director,” a white man named Todd Tourso, the performer took an active role in the creation of the product. “Beyoncé’ was really just the fearless leader the entire time. Throughout this process, daily she would shoot for 10 hours, then do a 2 hour show, then go to the studio until 4 or 5 in the morning, then wake up at 7am and do it again. And on top of this schedule she’s completely involved in every creative decision along the way and completely happy and excited and fun the entire time. It was just a really inspiring and contagious energy to be around.”

“According to docs obtained from Louisiana Entertainment, the estimated budget for Lemonade was $1.35 million.” That figure seems a bit low. In any event, that money had to come from somewhere. Beyoncé did not rob her piggy bank to get the production capital. Whoever put that money up is expecting a return on investment.

Another detail that comes up is the number of writers. “According to the liner notes released in the digital booklet, 72 writers collaborated to write Lemonade.” That is a bit misleading. John Bonham, the drummer for Led Zeppelin who died in 1980, got a credit for some sampled material.

72 writers is a lot of paid talent collaborating on a project. It gives support to those who say that Lemonade is corporate product. And, in keeping with the tenor of the times, Vanity Fair chimes in: “To criticize Beyoncé for collaborating in the production of her art is ignorant. It’s probably racist, too, but I’ll let the haters look into their own hearts to determine whether that’s true.”

Maybe the best thing to do is just enjoy, or ignore, Lemonade. Either way, Beyoncé is dancing all the way to the bank. Picture today are from The Library of Congress.









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