Last Saturday evening was just supposed to be another quiet night at home for me. I had planned to spend this time working on an enormous term paper due before the end of the semester, as well as to catch up on some work that I had left until the last possible moment. However, my studies came to a crashing halt after the unthinkable happened — or rather, after Beyoncé happened.
On Saturday, Beyoncé released her sixth studio album LEMONADE exclusively on Tidal. In true Beyoncé fashion, LEMONADE was released without warning, leaving her diehard fans in frenzy; in other words, no one was ready for this jelly. So naturally, I put my term paper on delay, created a Tidal account and spent most of the evening engaging in a thorough song-by-song analysis of the entire album.
Of all the popular music artists still producing music today, Beyoncé remains at the top of my list. Furthermore, as someone who primarily listens to classical music, Beyoncé is perhaps one of the only artists I listen to who is universally beloved. My love for Beyoncé extends beyond her music; given my almost exclusive appreciation for classical music, one might think that I wouldn’t care too much about any Top 40 artist, let alone Beyoncé. But Beyoncé isn’t just another Top 40 singer; in fact, to include her in a category with other singers such as Taylor Swift or Katy Perry would be an insult. Beyoncé is a feminist icon, and serves as a role model for not only young girls and grown women, but also those needing strength in their lives. Though I may just be on a post-LEMONADE high, I truly believe that Beyoncé is the most potent musical artist of the 21st century, given the fact that she transcends all genres, and unites her fans together in a way that is stronger than most singers today.
Moreover, my detailed analysis of LEMONADE was not done alone. I spent the evening sharing my thoughts towards each song with Matt, the guy I’ve been dating for the past two months. Matt and I have many things in common; like me, he is an avid reader, and our chemistry has proved us to be good match. However, musical tastes are not among the partialities we share. He has been gracious enough to accompany me to a few operas, though I know his appreciation for classical music isn’t as potent as mine. Moreover, with the release of this album, Matt and I were able to bond over something we hadn’t necessarily been able to bond over before. It may be audacious to state that Beyoncé has facilitated a new aspect to my relationship with Matt; however, when it comes to Beyoncé, nothing is too bold.
The “Beyhive” is perhaps the most powerful musical fan base today. LEMONADE, which is speculated to be a response to Jay-Z’s infidelity, has produced not only an outpouring of support for Queen B herself, but has also caused retaliation towardJay-Z and his suspected mistress, fashion designer Rachel Roy. Though this album has taught me many things, one of which being you should never mess with Beyoncé, I’ve learned that music can unite us in the most unexpected ways — and because of this, I thank Beyoncé for bringing us all together.
Arya Roshanian is a senior majoring in music. He is also a lifestyle editor at the Daily Trojan. His column, “From the Top,” ran on Tuesdays.