Beyonce’s sixth studio album Lemonade was released Saturday night with an incredible visual album accompaniment that premiered on HBO. The hour-long film was described by Tidal as a story “based on every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing,” but it was much more than that.
Teeming with social and cultural references and critiques on race, gender, relationships, identity and more, Lemonade was one of the most ambitious undertakings in the art world in the past decade and the most impressive. If there was ever any doubt that Beyonce earned her Queen Bey nickname, consider the question answered.
Since its dramatic release, which was teased only a week in advance, legions of writers and entertainment critics have taken on Lemonade, breaking down its messages, dissecting the lyrics in relation to Beyonce’s marriage, and debating the symbolism of the visually thrilling masterpiece.
We’re not here to do that.
Instead, we’re here to provide the proper etiquette to undertake when viewing the masterpiece of Lemonade.
1. Rid your viewing area of any distractions. Turn off your phone if you have to. Yes, it does turn off and yes, we know it’s scary.
2. Resist the urge to update your profile picture with a new image of Beyonce immediately. You’re going to want to do this for every scene and you’re going to miss the movie.
3. Ditto for tweeting out lyrics.
4. Don’t start throwing out all your Jay Z albums until you finish Lemonade.
5. Yes, that’s Jack White, The Weeknd, and James Blake you’re hearing. Let their voices wash over you.
6. If you need to take a break to cry for any reason, that’s totally okay. Have some tissues within reaching distance.
7. If you need to take a break to call your mom, sister, grandma, aunt, bestie, and tell them they’re amazing warriors, that’s totally okay too. You may turn your phone on for that and only that.
8. Try to refrain from booking a trip to Louisiana/Texas until the film is over. Then wanderlust away.
9. Don’t wait for “Formation”. It’s being saved for the credits.
10. Go into Lemonade with fresh eyes and try to not read anything about the album ahead of time. Except, you know, for this article.