It’s been more than a year since Beyoncé’s groundbreaking visual album, Lemonade, was released, and anyone familiar with Beyoncé‘s landmark sixth record, Lemonade, will tell you it’s more than just an album. Personal, political, and unapologetically honest, it stands as the crowning achievement in the career of one of music’s most beloved artists, thanks in large part to its stunning visuals. but fans are still thirsty for more. And Queen Bey is eager to deliver; the mother of three just released a colossal 600-page coffee-table book titled How to Make Lemonade about, you guessed it, how she made the album Lemonade. The prodigious work features breathtaking photos from the set of iconic music videos like “Formation” and “Sorry.” Fans can also get a glimpse at never-before-seen family photos of the singer with her husband, JAY-Z, and eldest daughter, Blue Ivy.
Beyond the imagery, the coffee-table book includes song lyrics, Beyoncé’s hand-written essays, and even poetry. It’s kind of like what you would find inside the booklet tucked into CD cases back in the day when there were CDs, but on a much, much larger scale, one that isn’t just fan fun but is also home decor. The catch? This piece of home decor costs a whopping $300. It’s part of a limited-edition box set that also includes a vinyl copy of Lemonade and downloads of the audio and visual album as well as the book. You can preorder now with expected shipments to begin later this Summer.
The book offers an in-depth look at each element of Lemonade‘s visual presentation, putting the project’s many influences, collaborators, and cameos on display. Through collages and photographic juxtapositions, Beyoncé’s it-takes-a-village method of creativity comes into full view. From the Laolu Senbanjo Yoruba body painting featured in “Sorry” to the wardrobe of artfully customized Gucci in “Formation,” each aesthetic detail is now featured and given greater context. Many of these fashion-forward touches register as merely stylish in music video format, but are in fact imbued with deeper meaning. Case in point: One section outlines the connection between a head wrap and Louisiana’s Tignon laws, which restricted the dress of Creole women in an effort to maintain the state’s racist social hierarchies.
A celebration of blackness and femininity, Lemonade wasn’t shy about its social commentary. With Beyoncé evoking the Black Panthers at the Super Bowl in a black leather bodysuit, bringing the Mothers of the Movement onstage at the Video Music Awards, and turning the Grammys into a fertility goddess tribute with an ornate gold headdress, she has used her platform and wardrobe choices to create a dialogue. Tabloids may have focused on the revelations regarding her marriage, but Lemonade‘s true message went beyond that—a fact that the book highlights perfectly. These never-before-seen images (including a series of vintage family photos) document each step in the process, and the personal and political are connected for an exploration of what it means to be a black woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders. How to Make Lemonade digs deep into highs and historical realities. An automatic must have for members of the BeyHive—who have no doubt preordered the special-edition boxed set, which comes with a double vinyl LP—it provides something even the most casual fan can appreciate: an inside look at an artist in her prime