In case you didn’t know, Sunday is a holiday. April 23rd marks the one year anniversary of one of the most important albums of our generation. While we were still trying to memorize the words and choreography to “Formation,” Beyoncé dropped her sixth studio album, Lemonade, one year ago on that date. It came in the form of full length musical film — debuting not on BET or MTV — the cable network that introduced us to music videos — but HBO, with all of the prestige that comes with the network. This unprecedented move was the moment we all got to watch Beyoncé take another two steps ahead of everyone else in the music industry.
And with the album’s visual and musical content, Bey outdid even herself. The megastar completely mastered no fewer than four different musical genres in the same body of work. The visuals were a journey into Beyoncé’s personal emotions, but also a full celebration of Black womanhood. Bey tapped into themes of motherhood, love, spirituality, the South, freedom, racism, feminism, and redemption by unpacking some of her own deep emotions. In her most personal body of work ever, Bey managed to speak for so many of us.
Despite what the Grammys have to say about it, Lemonade was absolutely the album of the year. It was a pop culture moment. But it was also a response to our current political and social climate. One year later we’re still in love with it.