Music

19 Surprising Facts About Beyoncé’s “Lemonade”

Hot Sauce is the name of her baseball bat, y’all.

1. Beyoncé is credited as the project’s sole executive producer.

Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia

2. She is also credited as a writer and producer on every single song.

Parkwood Entertainment

3. The visual album’s spoken-word interludes were written and adapted by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire.

Warsan Shire / Via instagram.com

Warsan Shire / Via warsanshire.bandcamp.com

 

Over the course of the film, Beyoncé quotes extensively from Shire’s spoken-word album Warsan Versus Melancholy (The Seven Stages of Being Lonely), as well as the poems “Nail Technician as Palm Reader” and “Grief Has Its Blue Hands in Her Hair.”

4. “All Night” marks the second time Beyoncé has sampled the horns from OutKast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.”

Parkwood Entertainment

The first time was 2014’s “Flawless Remix.”

5. Singer-songwriter Wynter Gordon — best known for 2010’s dance-pop hit “Dirty Talk” — helped pen “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” “Sorry,” and “Daddy Lessons.”

Wynter Gordon / Via Facebook: wyntergordon

Big Beat Records

 

6. Beyoncé’s bat in the “Hold Up” video is branded with the words “Hot Sauce.”

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As in “I keep hot sauce in my bag, swag.”

7. “Love Drought” was co-written by Beyoncé’s longtime friend and recent Parkwood signee Ingrid Burley.

Ingrid / Via instagram.com

Parkwood Entertainment

 

Ingrid recently released her first single, “Flex,” which is absolute fire and should be added to your summer party playlists immediately.

8. Beyoncé also invited Parkwood signees Chloe and Halle Bailey to appear in the album’s visual component.

Parkwood Entertainment

Like Ingrid, the sister duo recently released their first single, “Drop,” which is great. Add it to the same playlist as “Flex.”

9. Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee helped write “Formation.”

Swae Lee / Via instagram.com

Parkwood Entertainment

 

10. Diplo, MNEK, Ezra Koenig, Emile Haynie, and Father John Misty are among the 15 writers credited on “Hold Up.”

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Part of the reason there are so many writers credited on “Hold Up” is that the song features lyrical interpolations from Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On” and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps.”

11. The intricate white body paint Beyoncé and her backup dancers sport at various points throughout the visual album was designed by Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Laolu Senbanjo.

Laolu Senbanjo

Parkwood Entertainment

 

12. According to producer Boots, the psych-pop band Animal Collective are credited on “6 Inch” because Team Bey realized after writing the song that the lyric “She too smart to crave material things” was similar to the “I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things” line in the Animal Collective song “My Girls.”

Parkwood Entertainment

“[It was] similar to when George Harrison got sued for ‘My Sweet Lord,’” Boots explained in a Genius annotation. “you write it and sing it and think ‘thats fucking great!!!’ and everyone high fives and you’re all geniuses for fourteen seconds but it turns out its great because someone else already fucking wrote it.”

13. The gleeful car-smashing visual for “Hold Up” draws heavily on artist Pipilotti Rist’s 1997 installation “Ever Is Over All.”

Parkwood Entertainment

Pipilotti Rist / Via youtube.com

 

14. “Don’t Hurt Yourself” samples Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks.”

Evening Standard / Getty Images

Parkwood Entertainment

 

15. In addition to all-star appearances from Serena Williams, Quvenzhané Wallis, Winnie Harlow, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, and sister duo Ibeyi, Lemonade also features cameos from ballerina Michaela DePrince and New Orleans’ Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase.

Parkwood Entertainment

16. “Freedom” features two field recordings from the ’40s and ’50s captured by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax.

Parkwood Entertainment

17. At the beginning of the video for the reconciliation ballad “Sandcastles,” there’s a shot of a kintsugi bowl.

Parkwood Entertainment

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with precious metals to demonstrate that broken things can be made whole and that the process of piecing something back together can make an object more beautiful than it was to begin with.

18. The video for “Don’t Hurt Yourself” features an excerpt from Malcom X’s “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?” speech.

Parkwood Entertainment

 

19. As shown in Lemonade’s visual component, the album’s name was inspired by a speech Jay Z’s grandmother, Hattie White, made at her 90th birthday party.

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“I was served lemons,” White told family and friends, “but I made lemonade.”

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