When crafting an album like Beyonce’s Lemonade, the artist’s intent is for people to believe the narratives that are laid out in their lyrics and that those words reflect their own lives. This helps them create music that listeners feel they can relate to and that connection is absolutely critical on several levels.
Lemonade is a project that depicts Beyonce in a very human, vulnerable light, as her songs highlight deeply personal issues like loneliness, depression, and betrayal. It’s actually strikingly similar to Usher’s 2004 magnum opus, Confessions, only Lemonade is its mirror image.
On the aforementioned albums, both artists completely expose themselves for all the world to see, with Beyonce portraying the victim and Usher playing the culprit in their respective relationships. Their narratives are both gripping tales of infidelity with Beyonce singing about going through a man’s phone to determine if he’s messing around on the side, while Usher croons a story of impregnating a mistress.
But then why did swarms of listeners instantly assume that the phone being searched belonged to Jay Z or that it was Usher’s cheating ways that caused the breakup between him and his then girlfriend, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas? Our minds are quick to connect dots, even if the dots aren’t quite there. And in both respective cases, if the shoe seems to fit, the story superficially seems to checks out. Jay Z is Beyonce’s husband, so Beyonce’s lyrics must imply that she suspects him of cheating on her. And Usher’s singing about impregnating a mistress must mean that’s what ultimately caused his breakup in real life. Right?
Not so fast.