Beyonce has done it again.
The singer/mother/force of nature debuted a new visual album in the epic HBO special "Lemonade" on April 23, then dropped her sixth album of the same name (now on Tidal) immediately afterward. And it was epic.
Here are five things you need to know about what went down:
1. She talks about cheating. A lot.
"Are you cheating on me?" she asks during "Denial," which shows her smashing things with a baseball bat. "What a wicked way to treat the girl who loves you." And it just keeps coming, with more lines like, "You can taste the dishonesty, it's on your breath," "They don't love you like I love you," "Me and my baby gonna be alright, we gonna live a good life."
In other words, Bey did little to shoot down rampant reports in 2014 and 2015 claiming her marriage to Jay Z was in big trouble. But in a very Bey twist, reports The New Yorker, "At some point the project turns away from Jay Z and toward the broken marriage between Beyonce's parents, making you wonder whether she was talking about her mother and her father the whole time."
2. She fuels new speculation about Jay and designer Rachel Roy.
After the infamous elevator fight between Beyonce's little sister Solange and Jay Z in 2014, rumors swirled claiming it was sparked after Solange felt her brother-in-law was getting too, um, close to his former business partner Damon Dash's ex Rachel.
On "Lemonade," Beyonce says (in part), "Her heaven will be a love without betrayal. Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks" and repeatedly brings up how "He better call Becky with the good hair." Well, hours after "Lemonade" dropped, reports TheRoot.com, Rachel posted an Instagram pic captioned, "Good hair don't care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueens." The internet went wild and decided Rachel was indeed Becky. People even started changing things on Rachel's Wikipedia page to reflect the alleged shade. On April 24, Rachel responded with a tweet to her haters: "I respect love, marriages, families and strength. What shouldn't be tolerated by anyone, no matter what, is bullying, of any kind."
3. She talks about forgiveness too.
"Now that reconciliation is possible, if we're gonna heal, let it be glorious," Beyonce says at one point. Other lyrics revealing forgiveness has been granted? "My torturer became my remedy," Beyonce says. "So we're gonna heal. We're gonna start again." During the latter part of the special, Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy show up on screen in clips showing rare wedding footage, family time and even the couple getting matching "IV" tattoos.
4. She delivers 12 new songs and some celebrity guest cameos.
The album features a dozen tracks. Among them are collaborations with and contributions from The Weeknd, Diplo, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Jack White, Kendrick Lamar, The-Dream, James Blake and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Some of Bey's celebrity friends also appear in the HBO special footage, including tennis great Serena Williams, Disney star Zendaya, "Hunger Games" actress Amandla Stenberg, and "Annie" star Quvenzhané Wallis, among others.
5. She addresses the ongoing police brutality and black lives matter controversy she first stirred up in February's "Formation" video.
Beyonce addressed the "Formation" drama in a recent Elle interview, explaining, "Anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let's be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice."
For "Lemonade," she asked the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner to appear on-screen holding photographs of their children.
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