How ‘4:44’ and ‘Lemonade’ Solidified Vulnerability as an Art

By: Kési Felton

After reading several articles about JAY-Z’s 4:44 and revisiting my blog post on Lemonade, I want to talk about the idea of vulnerability as an art form. As a listener, I could definitely feel a difference between Beyoncé and Lemonade, Magna Carta and 4:44.
 The subject matter can be felt in a way that makes you feel as though you experienced it yourself. I am confident that that’s what makes good art good and good artists great– their ability to get an audience to truly empathize with their work. I respect Beyoncé and JAY because of their concerted effort to keep us out of their marriage and give us a glimpse of their lives only with concert visuals, music videos, or Instagram posts that show only Beyoncé can make Flipigrams artistic.
However, even when it seemed like they began to lose their grasp over their concealed public image, they undoubtedly proved us wrong by releasing two of what critics, respectively, are calling their best projects to date. Both 4:44 and Lemonade exemplify the power and poetry that results from owning your truth and making the effort to heal.
JAY-Z puts it perfectly in 4:44‘s opening track “Kill Jay Z” by saying “You can’t heal what you never reveal.” These albums can respectively be a lesson for all of us to make more of an effort to deal with our traumas head-on. 
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