UPDATE: As she is wont to do, Beyoncé added even more urgency to the forthcoming album situation this weekend by releasing teasers of a project, dare I say experience, called Lemonade, which will premiere on HBO Saturday, April 23rd at 9PM ET. From the teaser, it seems as if Lemonade may touch on the subject of relationships, possibly giving us an artful inside glimpse at Bey and Jay’s romance, but considering the fact that no one is really sure exactly what Lemonade is (a movie? A music video? A live screening of the visual album to promptly be available on iTunes?), the best thing for this superfan to do is just wait ‘til it hits airwaves. Yes, you can consider my previous plans for Saturday night completely shot.
Watch the teaser clip above.
My mood right now.
Rumors have been flying about when Beyoncé is actually going to release her next album. Many outlets reported that it would most likely drop this month, pointing to the unlisted, still unaccessible videos that have been popping up on her VEVO channel. Beyoncé’s world tour starts April 27, and many are hypothesizing that the singer will likely release all her new material before then, or on that date. Some Bey fans guessed that the album would drop April 4, as 4 is a number of great significance to the singer. But April 4 has come and gone, and I’m still here waiting on this album like Ms. Foxy waiting for troubled teens at the door.
Beyoncé, can’t you see I’m already in formation? Photo: @itsjihanm
I’m a woman in my late 20s. I know there are more important things to care about. Climate change. The dubious candidates we currently have vying for a shot at the presidency. Income inequality. Heck, what I’m going to make tonight for dinner is a more immediate concern for me than when Beyoncé is going to release her album. But still — I’m a giant Beyoncé fan and have always been. Even in her Destiny’s Child days, I felt empowered listening to her sing about being financially independent and in control of your own shit. I was just 12 years old, but I knew I wanted to be an independent woman who “got down like that,” and I’m still making it my business to achieve the level of bossery I want. Bey’s music makes me feel as if I can take over the world, and it is for that reason I love her.
Just a little over two years ago, when Beyoncé hit us with the surprise drop of her self-titled visual album, I missed the initial hubbub. Why? Because I was reeling over an episode of Scandal (a show that is both delightful and stressful to watch) and I decided it would be better if I just spent the rest of the evening watching YouTube videos until I fell asleep — just to calm myself down. I woke up the next morning with several frantic text messages from friends informing me that Beyoncé had released a surprise album — with music videos, and that I should grease down my edges immediately because they were about to get snatched. I remember, because it happened on a Friday — a work day.
My productivity that day was shot. I was freelancing at a few websites at the time, and one of my editors knew that I consider myself a card-carrying member of the Beygency. She tapped me to cover the drop, and at the time, I had only been able to listen to a handful of songs and had watched maybe three videos. I quickly filed the story and then … well, basically said screw it to all my other duties for the day, and spent the rest of Friday watching every music video over and over alone in my apartment, where no one could hear me screaming “Yasssss, Beyoncé, you did that, queen!” as loud as I felt like for hours. I basically got nothing done, and it’s all Beyoncé’s fault.
Me when this Beyoncé album finally drops.
So now, with her new album being rumored to surprise us any day now, I am really feeling the stress. Yahoo Style’s senior editor Leeann Duggan aptly called it PBSD: Pre-Beyoncé Stress Disorder. I found myself at work the other day writing up a story while listening to music. A Beyoncé song came on and immediately, it started to feel hot in my usually cold office. I let out a few Lamaze breaths and frantically checked my Twitter feed. “What if this new album is out, and I’m sitting here missing out on all the excitement and hilarious Internet memes?” I thought. At a glance: nothing. I was safe.
Two weeks ago, in preparation for its then forthcoming Beyoncé issue, Elle was all over Instagram posting photos of Beyoncé, counting down something. I scrolled through the several flattering images of the singer, my blood pressure rising by the second. In the end, the magazine revealed Bey as its latest cover model and interviewee. I was excited, but still without any new music. Yesterday, the day of the Ivy Park release, I found myself checking Twitter over and over again for any news on the album. There was none.
Again, I realize how ridiculous I sound. And I think that is what bothers me most about all the stress I’ve been feeling. I’m a grown woman with grown-woman responsibilities, issues, and bills. I shouldn’t care this much. When it comes to pretty much all other performers, I don’t care this much. In fact, I barely care at all. But Beyoncé’s ability to reduce me to feeling like a 14-year-old teenybopper with excitement over something that, in the long run, will almost certainly have no effect on the trajectory of my life makes me feel ashamed, but also awed by the power a soft-spoken gal from Houston can have.
What every Beyoncé fan will be doing once the album finally comes out.
I shouldn’t have this kind of anxiety over an album, and that makes me even more anxious. Because I know once I hear that music and peep all the music videos Bey almost certainly has lined up for us, I will be whipped into a total frenzy. And God forbid she drops the album while I’m at work. I know most of the day will be spent trying to bottle up my excitement over the new release, while my coworkers shoot me the side-eye, totally indifferent to the brilliance Queen Bey will bless us with. It ain’t easy being the only crazed Beyoncé fan in a given area — especially when you feel kind of guilty about it, as I do. If this album catches me off guard and I’m in public or polite company, I’ll have to pretend like i’m only mildly excited and totally not obsessed, as opposed to over the moon and ready to take on anyone who may cross me. If that isn’t enough to give someone anxiety, I don’t know what is.
In the meantime, I’ll be here, doing my breathing exercises, struggling to keep my blood pressure under control as I patiently wait for Queen Bey to make her next move.