Unless you are amazingly disconnected from all pop culture (and no judgment here because I almost missed this!) you know that Beyoncé released a visual album called “Lemonade” over the weekend. Hell, even if you don’t follow pop culture it’d be hard to miss. CNN has an article about it for Pete’s sakes! Like, really?!

Ahem. But I digress.

If you read the headlines from a quick Google search it seems this album is solely about Jay-Z and his alleged infidelity. People are losing their minds specifically over the lyrics “He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair.” So far it seems like people fall into one of three camps:

"Who is Becky...?"

“Who is Becky…?”

The Detectives

Loads of folks seem to have gotten their Detective badges recently. They’re decoding lyrics, looking for clues, pulling up records from the dusty file cabinet of the internet, and going on woman-hunts when they think they’ve found the culprit.  The Beyhive seems to be flocking from one Twitter/Instagram account to the next trying to lay some digital retribution on whomever had the audacity to cause trouble in Queen Bey’s marriage.

The Over This Tribe

Why are we talking about Beyoncé? Don’t you know Flint’s water is poisonous, Trump’s on the loose, and Brady has to serve a 4-game suspension after all? Who cares about Beyoncé?

The Marriage Counselors

These are the ones that prompted this post. I’ve seen a lot of comments from people narrowing their eyes at Beyoncé, wondering why she would air her “dirty laundry” in this way. Marriage is private, they say. Whatever problems you have are between you and your husband and putting it out there like this is shameful.

I find this to be an interesting line of thinking. If a musician writes a song about, say, their past physical abuse, or addiction, or mental illness, people applaud them for being brave and speaking out, but she writes what may be an entire album about the difficulty of marriage and she should have kept it private? For me, and I would wager for many other musicians, making music and writing lyrics can be a form of catharsis. We write about the things that hurt us, anger us, make us happy, sadden us. It’s therapy, and sometimes that stuff is pretty personal. Should we not write it? Is there a line to be drawn? What is it about (allegedly) discussing real life marital problems in her music, expressing her emotional ups and downs in relating to her husband, is taboo? I doubt these people have the same problems with her celebrating her marriage in her music.

I draw my own line about what I am and am not comfortable sharing in my songs, but I don’t believe there are topics that just shouldn’t be out there. If her album is indeed an emotional trip through the ins and outs of marriage, I don’t fault or judge her for it. Let her cope the way she wants/needs to cope.

Are there subjects you consider to be too private to be shared through music? Does it make you uncomfortable as a fan (or not as as fan) to be presented with certain aspects of a celebrity’s life? If you’re a musician, where do you draw the line in how much you share in your music, if at all?

 

-Stevie