Turning Lemons into Lemonade: The Art of Dirty Laundry

The art of oversharing walks a fine line. John Mayer talks about his love of porn – we cringe.  Lena Dunham in almost every moment of Girls- we cheer. Artists have been inspired by personal drama and tragedy for years (country music is based almost solely on this premise) but is it just me or has it become a lot more on-the-nose? The queen Bey just released her album Lemonade and it’s a story about a marriage going through a very hard time and the emotions/struggles it evoked. This isn’t just music inspired by heartbreak – this is an album about a man name Jay Z cheating on his wife, Beyonce. There is no room for speculation. When TSwift wrote about John Mayer (him, again). we all knew it was about him, but she didn’t come out and say it. Musicians have been doing this for years – channeling strife into cash money by making music out of misery – or making lemonade out of lemons. At what point is this different from the overly personal social media update?


Now don’t hate – I’m a fan of Bey and her new album – as a matter of fact it’s my favourite of hers to this point (except for maybe Drunk in Love.) I think its commendable that she is showing her vulnerability and the realities of marriage. What is great is that, because its the power that is Beyonce, everyone is rallying behind her. So my question to the class is: should we follow Bey’s example and be more honest with each other instead of bottling all that emotion inside and pretending we’re too classy to feel OR does it then encourage people to cry wolf, does it allow others to use dramatic situations to win the argument, to bully, to grow their follower base or to make money?


On a more local playing field, a couple of local bloggers in a relationship aired some dirty cheating laundry very publicly recently. The blogger was given breakup/health related swag from PR people jumping on the opportunity for a story through this bloggers heartbreak. But when the blogger was posting ‘I love you’ messages to the aforementioned cheater only weeks later, it begs the question – what’s real? What’s real pain, and what’s a cash grab?


Like the rest of the world – I wonder how Jay feels about Lemonade. He clearly is repenting, he knew this was coming (the Solange elevator moment happened over 2 years ago) so he is clearly in support of this defamation of character, but -as everyone wants to know – what is his opinion on all this? John Meyer say TSwift was mean to call him out publicly – will Jay tell his side of the story?


On the other hand Bey is also bringing very public attention to the victims of cheating. This is the age of cheating. Cheating culture has become so commonplace sometimes I feel like I’m on an island alone still being someone who thinks cheating is wrong. This is a clear statement about the hurt and pain cheating brings and how it should be taken seriously. Being ignored, lied to, and feeling neglected in any situation is a bad one. My favourite part of the album (so far) is when she talks about looking crazy with the lyrics “What’s worst/looking jealous or crazy jealous or crazy/or like getting walked all over lately/I’d rather be crazy.”  Pretty powerful stuff. How often have men (or partners in general) used the excuse of calling their spouse crazy for being jealous when something really was going on.

While I’m typically not a fan of the overshare, I’m with Bey on this one. And not just cause the music is bomb (especially that Jack White track).  The age of the Facebook overshare is on its way out but we’re entering into an age where people are encouraged to be real and honest and that’s something to be applauded.


I strongly suggest you listen to Lemonade. Regardless of the cheating drama and and blatant calling out of Jay’s god complex, its quite the album. With lyrics by the Yeah Yeah Yeah, political undertones, Jack White and Jay Z’s grandma – its an incredible tapestry of honesty and great beats.

Let us know whether you are pro-oversharing or con by tweeting us at @NUndergroundTO




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