Beyonce uplifts herself from the sadness of “Sandcastles” with a hard hitting, politically driven statement of empowerment on “Freedom.” The distorted guitar melodies open into gritty, short-lived verses with marching snare drums leading into her explosive choruses. The raw, emotional power of Lemonade is epitomized as Beyonce tells her tears to “Go and fall away, fall away.” With the incorporation of Kendrick Lamar’s commentary on “Channel 9 news” and “Six headlights wavin’ in my direction/Five-O askin’ me what’s in my possession,” the song is made bigger than Beyonce overcoming the ever-present theme of infidelity on the record. Instead, “Freedom” focuses on the resilience of the black community and their ability to “break [their] chains.”
Another aspect of the lyrics seem to be the theme of water, which may allude to the images of Post-Katrina New Orleans in Beyonce’s Formation video, again tying in the idea of black empowerment against institutionalized racism. Aside from Beyonce’s mention of tears in the choruses, she states “I’ma wade, I’ma wade through the waters.” Also, Kendrick Lamar alludes to the threat of water in his verse:
“Yeah I keep runnin’, jump in the aqueducts
Fire hydrants and hazardous”
Whether it’s the lack of government attention on suffering black communities after Katrina in New Orleans, or the infamous images of civil rights activists being hosed down in the 1960s, “Freedom” certainly addresses specifically race-driven political issues in its water related lyricism, furthering the impact of Beyonce’s powerful vocal melodies.