Beyoncé dropped an enormously powerful bomb on Saturday with the surprise arrival of her sixth album, Lemonade, exclusively on Tidal (listen below). A short film on HBO preceded the release, long teased in a mysterious promotional campaign and billed as a “conceptual project based on every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing,” Tidal said in a statement. In actuality, it sounds like the process of a woman dealing with the pain, rage and retribution of infidelity and disrespect – and it’s getting easier to guess why Jay Z has been looking like a whipped puppy in recent months.
Supporting evidence: One early standout is the Jack White-produced track “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” which directly addresses Jay Z’s regularly rumored infidelity, specifically his “too close for comfort” friendship with designer Rachel Roy, the ex-wife of former friend Damon Dash. Comparative references to the infamous elevator incident are already flowing. On the track, which is positively dripping with the dark-Wonka quirk of the Third Man Records nucleus, Bey doesn’t mince words or leave anything to subtlety as she drops F bombs left and right before dealing the most brutal blow: “This is your final warning… you know I give you life… if you try this shit again, you gon’ lose your wife”
At first glance, the 12-track record is a colossus of shifting styles and collaborations, including guest appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, James Blake and the Weeknd. Samples are all over the rock spectrum Led Zeppelin (“Don’t Hurt Yourself”), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (“Hold Up”), Father John Misty (“Hold Up”) and Animal Collective (“6 Inch”), while production contributions come from Just Blaze, Diplo, Mike Will Made It and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig are among the album’s co-producers. Read a deep dive on the track credits on the Hollywood Reporter.