It’s hard to talk about the first half of the year without immediately jumping to Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Leave it to Queen B to not only set the internet ablaze with yet another surprise release, followed by an amazing Super Bowl performance but pull off the feat of a “movie album.” Interweaving her own personal narrative while also speaking to a much larger audience, Beyoncé presented us with a complex, stunning and emotional journey, while also pushing herself forward as an artist and setting the bar higher (yet again) for everyone who would come after.
So, what else happened this year so far? Frank Ocean finally dropped not one, but two albums. Yeah, you read that right; after countless memes and false release dates we have new Frank Ocean music. Chance the Rapper dropped a masterpiece of his own, Britney Spears is back (though she never really left), Drake scammed his way into having one of the most successful albums of the year, Ariana Grande made the first move into her “Dirrty” era and Rihanna and Kanye both dropped their respective (and also much delayed) projects, and that’s really not even scratching the surface.
It’s been such a front loaded year for music; all the heavy hitters have been releasing everything at the same time. There’s talk that Katy Perry could be coming back sooner than expected, Lady Gaga’s new song drops next week and several heavy hitters have projects that are being rumored to drop in the coming months. But enough about what’s coming, let’s look back at what’s already dropped. Among all of the big releases this year, what’s really stuck out so far?
The list of people who worked on Beyoncé’s Lemonade is an extensive one, Diplo, Erza Koenig and Father John Misty among them. However there’s one person who’s boasting a close connection to B that’s sending even the most devoted Beyhive members for a loop. She calls herself Nana JJ.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Beyoncé is back. On Saturday night, she dropped her stunning HBO special entitled Lemonade, based on the album of the same name. The album/short film is a continuation of B’s visual album release strategy she implemented with her self-titled fifth album released almost three years ago. Only with Lemonade, it is presented as a whole rather than separate music videos. Though thought to be released exclusively through TIDAL (the streaming service owned by husband Jay Z), the album has dropped on iTunes and, in typical Queen B fashion, is already tearing up the charts.