Entertainment

The Afro-Caribbean Connection In Beyoncé’s Lemonade You Might Not Have Known About

Since evolving from Destiny’s Child into a solo artist, Beyoncé has worked with a wide range of female musicians and artists, particularly black women from around the world. There’s the Sugar Mamas , for instance, her 10-piece touring band; her inclusion of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s inspiring TEDx Talk about feminism in “Flawless;” and her weaving of Somali-British poet Warsan Shire’s haunting poem about betrayal on Lemonade.

Among that illustrious group? Franco-Cuban sisters Ibeyi.

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Credit: HBO / OkayAfrica

The sisters, Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi, not only appear in Lemonade alongside the likes of Zendaya and Amandla Stenberg, but also had their song, “River,” featured in an Instagram post Beyoncé made to promote her September 2015 Vogue cover. You can watch the video for “River” below, because it’s fantastic and because we love you:

 

Credit: Ibeyi / YouTube

And ~that’s not all.~

There’s a theory snaking its way around the internet that some of the striking imagery Beyoncé employed in Lemonade takes its cues from Santería and other Yoruba-influenced faiths popular across the Caribbean and Brazil, including and very notably in Cuba. In fact, one prominent orisha, Oshun, is mentioned by name in “River.”

“Wemile Oshun, Oshun dede, Alawede Wemile Oshun, moolowo beleru yalode moyewede.”

????

Here’s how Oshun is commonly depicted:

#oshun

A photo posted by Neia (@neialove_) on

Credit: Instagram / neialove_

She’s beautiful, right? Now, notice her gold-colored gown and her proximity to water.

Look familiar?

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Credit: HBO / HuffingtonPost

Lots of people, specifically on Instagram, are making the visual connection between elements in Lemonade — Beyoncé’s yellow Roberto Cavalli gown, a shot of her standing amid streaming water — and the color and element so often associated with Oshun.

Check it out:

Credit: Instagram / kissdababi
Credit: Instagram / thesuarezzz

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEozmapAxi7/

Credit: Instagram / coils_n_curls

Beyonce's #Lemonade is rich with historical and cultural references, but as a seduction devotee, this may be my favorite. In one of the initial scenes, #Beyonce wears a magnificent golden yellow dress, and exits a building engulfed in flowing water. This is a mythological reference to the orisha Oshun. Considered to be the most beautiful of the female orisha's, she exhibits qualities associated with flowing water; she is vivacious, sparkling, and moves with seductive fluidity. As a diety, she reins over eroticism, sensuality, creativity, fertility, and the rivers. Oshun is regarded as a healer of the sick, the bringer of song, music and dance, as well as prosperity and fertility. She is very powerful…In many instances where other Orishas fail, Oshun triumphs, often using her feminine wiles and 'sweetness' to conquer enemies. She is associated with the colors yellow and gold, fans and mirrors, honey, and rivers. Oshun, like Venus, Aphrodite, and Astarte, represents the sacral energy in women. This is the sensual procreative force in every woman that connects her to her sacred ability to arouse, emotionally connect, manifest reality, and ultimately create life. When this energy is active– when we've activated Oshun– we are too like water, fluid, sensual, powerful, life-giving, renewing, creative spontaneous, and completely at ease in the realm of emotion. When we tap into our inner love goddess we attract the kind of love that fills us up, and we begin to manifest the realities we seek. #theseductivewoman #beyhive #feminineenergy #oshun #ochun #santeria #yoruba #ankh #shakti #sacralchakra #feminine #loveadvice #Femininity #sacredfeminine #love #rachelroy #tinalawson #bae #formation

A photo posted by Camille Synclaire* (@theseductivewoman) on

Credit: Instagram / the seductive woman

To paraphrase the poster above: even when others might alter or fail…

“Oshun triumphs.”

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Credit: HBO / jaiyeorie.blogspot.com

Maybe Beyoncé was influenced by her 2013 trip to Cuba? Something to ponder.

Now go check out more of Ibeyi’s music.

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Credit: Ibeyi / Tumblr

READ: Beyonce Chooses Unlikely Latina Model For Her New Clothing Campaign

What’d you think of Lemonade? And how many times are you going to listen to Ibeyi today? 187,321 times at least, right?

A Brand-New Visual Beyoncé Album Is Coming to Disney+

Entertainment

A Brand-New Visual Beyoncé Album Is Coming to Disney+

Disney +

Beyoncé Knowles Carter is back to snatch your breath.

The “Homecoming” and “Lemonade” singer revealed she’s ready to drop her next visual experience. That’s right “Black Is King” is coming straight to you from Beyoncé on Disney+. Based on the music from The Lion King’s The Gift soundtrack, Beyoncé has promised a virtual album written, produced, and directed all by her.

The best part? It’s due to debut in just a few weeks on July 31, 2020.

According to a recent press release from Disney + the visual tells “a tale of a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love, and self-identity.”

“His ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne,” Disney revealed.

“Black Is King is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience,” the statement said. “The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.”

“These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power,” the statement proceeded. “Black Is King is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture. The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence.”

“A journey is a gift,” Beyoncé says in a teaser trailer released on her website over the weekend.

According to a report by Variety, Black Is King will feature Blue Ivy Carter, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, and others.

Beyoncé’s latest news is all of the confirmation that we needed to know that she’s the queen of relieving our collective COVID-19 anxiety.

The announcement of her latest album comes just on the heels of her surprise drop of the single “Black Parade” on Juneteenth which served to benefit BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund. 

No doubt Beyoncé has every intention of spreading a whole lot of Black Pride this summer.

Beyoncé Accepts the 2020 BET Awards’ Humanitarian Award From None Other Than Michelle Obama

Entertainment

Beyoncé Accepts the 2020 BET Awards’ Humanitarian Award From None Other Than Michelle Obama

BET Youtube

Who runs the world?

Arguably it should be Beyoncé and Michelle Obama. Fortunately, last night during the 2020 BET Awards we got a glimpse of what the Black Girl Magic Leaders would look like when the Grammy-award winning artist and the former first lady of the United States took part in celebrating Black excellence.

On Sunday, the former First Lady presented the singer with the show’s Humanitarian Award.

Speaking to audiences tuning into the show via video, the Becoming author introduced the award starting off by saying “I am here today to talk about the queen. You know the one!”

Obama continued to praise Beyoncé recalling how “ever since she was a little girl in Houston, Beyoncé Knowles Carter has been lighting up the stages and gracing the world with her talent with her generosity of spirit, and with her love for her community. You can see it in everything she does, from her music that give voice to black joy and black pain, to her activism that demands justice for black lives.”

Obama used her introduction to also share a few personal anecdotes about Beyoncé including how the singer had re-written her number “Get Me Bodied” for the “Let’s Move” campaign which saw the former first lady at the helm. “Got a whole lot of kids shakin’ it on the dance floor,” Obama recalled noting that as an artist Beyoncé’s is “always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bigger, better, a little more fierce.”

In an affectionate sign off before presenting the award, Obama finished by calling Beyoncé her girl. “I just want to say, you inspire me. You inspire all of us, which is why I am so proud to name Beyonce the 2020 BET Awards’ Humanitarian of the Year honoree. Congratulations, girl. Love you so much,” she finished.

The award show then showed videos of Beyoncé’s activism over the years.

In a tribute to the singer’s activism, the award show celebrated her acts of charity including her work to help out her hometown of Houston Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and her work to help others through her BeyGood non-profit.

In response to the honor, Beyoncé dedicated her award to Black men and women.

“Thank you so much for this beautiful honor,” Beyoncé replied. “I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching, and fighting for change. Your voices are being heard, and you are proving to our ancestors at their struggles were not in vain.”

Beyoncé finished her acceptance speech asking viewers to take action. “Now, we have one more thing we need to do to walk in our true power and that is to vote. I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change, and dismantle a racist and unequal system…We have to vote like our life depends on it because it does. So please continue to be the change you want to see.”

Closing out her acceptance speech, Beyonce thanked “BET for this honor. It means so much to me, especially coming from y’all. I love you. God Bless you and goodnight.”

Beyoncé wasn’t the only Carter to snag an award at the BETs last night. Her daughter Blue Ivy took home the BET Her Award for her work on “Brown Skin Girl.”

Check out highlights from the big night below!