The On the Run II (OTRII) tour captures the attention of not just the super-fans of Beyoncé and Jay-Z (they were going anyway), but it appeals to the people who may have been on the fence. When they announced their upcoming tour dates yesterday, the internet went crazy as people scrounged to “gather their coins” to see the two perform live—together. As infidelity riddled their marriage and they revealed their sides of the story, they became underdogs (for probably the first time in at least decades). Some speculated that it was all done for sales (sales that were never in jeopardy) and most believed it for what it was. Nonetheless, they were able to reach those individuals who weren’t already die-hard fans, by positioning themselves in a way that made their relationship the protagonist in a love story gone awry.
The word lemonade meant nothing but a drink to us prior to April 2016. Now it describes the unraveling of one of the most influential women in the entertainment industry. Seemingly so powerful and cut-throat, she bared her soul in a collection of songs describing her reaction to her husband doing the unthinkable-- cheating. We instantly connected with her because she was now, human—one of us. We could feel the conviction as we repeated her words to Jay-Z, "You gon’ lose your wife". Feeling it on a spiritual level, she gave us new threats to levy and a comfort to disappear into knowing that someone as "perfect" as her could be betrayed by love.
When Jay-Z responded with his 4:44 album, we were front and center (partially being nosy) hoping that his side of the story would tie up loose ends. (Boy did it ever!) With his apologetic and mature delivery, we secretly hoped our counterparts were there taking notes. With soulful cries sampled on a loop, Jay-Z rapped about his infidelities and what he learned from the situation in his title track. His album touted a maturing man who no longer wanted to be a cheater's apologist. Most guys that weren't interested in being "good men" rejected the notion along with his work calling it "boring" and "old man rap". The lemonaders (cute name for fans of the Lemonade album) received it for the most part, but didn't want him winning awards for it (another conversation for another post). Either way, the 2 stories captivated us for 2 years. We were invested in the betrayal and rectification of the relationship. Of course, we already knew that they would remain together by the end of Beyoncé's album, but we still had questions.
There was a level of redemption in Beyoncé's song "All Night” but there was still the question of why she would forgive this man when she could move on with practically ANYONE she wanted. There was something completely captivating about how they were presenting the story. Something so commonplace for regular people had infiltrated their high-profile lives.
Now as ticket pre-sales start tomorrow for the On the Run II tour, they are offering something they didn’t offer in the first tour—transparency. Now, we know what happened with them over the past two years and most of us want to see them happy with each other and doing well. OTRII will be the perfect display of just that. Most of all, it will give a person that has lost in love hope that there’s redemption in heartbreak after all.