Beyonce already blew our minds when she dropped the Formation video a day before her performance at the Super Bowl Halftime show.
Kanye starts trolling the world with his newfound Twitter account months before the drop of his iconic The Life of Pablo album. He seeds the wardrobes of LA celebrities with exclusive TLOP merchandise prior to the release.
Drake fuels the flames of his Twitter beef with Meek Mill by releasing multiple diss tracks, steamy Island beats with Rihanna, and pop-up shops in major cities to prime his audience for Views from the 6.
All of these mega artists have grown to such elite levels of stardom in part because of their visionary release strategies. They've permeated style, lifestyle and music, all key sensorial triggers. The timing is impeccable and the content is viciously good, but through and through, I realize that they're playing us all.
But this weekend, I didn't feel played.
On Saturday, a one-hour music video aired on HBO debuting her newest album, Lemonade. She trumped her last visual album (individual music videos for each song) with a short film narrating the story of betrayal and redemption in her marriage. This release felt less like a stunt and more like "Bey was ready to get real with us".
The emotion was so deep and genuine. For years, Beyonce has been an idol to women everywhere: she's gorgeous, wildly successful and married to the most OG player in the game. Her life is perfect. Until Lemonade, where her dirty laundry and personal failures were exposed for our Saturday night viewing pleasure.
She admitted to listeners that, "I'm not too perfect to ever feel this worthless". Anybody who has ever been cheated on, or has felt the pang of envy, melted in the visuals and lyrics of Lemonade. "What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you" It empowered women to know that even Beyonce gets her heart broken. Nobody deserves disloyalty.
Beyonce showed us that nobody how many times you sob-sing "Single Ladies" and "Run the World" to yourself in the car, you can still feel like there's something missing from yourself that could've made him stay. "I tried to change myself...I tried to be softer, prettier, less awake"
I lay down my marketing cynicism to say that Lemonade was one of the greatest music moments in my time.
Should've called Becky with the good hair.
Shameless plug for our most recent Dos Cocos Podcast about Lemonade: