My Summer Rewind: An Ode to Self-Care 26-“Lemonade”

When life gives you lemons, you make lemon pepper wings with the freeze cups. For days, I have attempted to find direction for this Gucci Mane-inspired prompt. I found it ironic most of my ideas were cliched lemons.

I could speak with eloquence and use pejorative terms to make the phrase “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade” into a philosophic something or the other; but Beyoncé already did it. Instead, I asked myself “Why am I not-so-fond of this ubiquitous phrase?” Perhaps because lemonade was a popular drink, and it still is.

Lemons are tart and acidic; but they’re also sweet and we use them for everything. It is in our cleaners to cut grease and make pine floors, toilets, and dishes smell good. We bite into them and get a rush from the excitement in its juxtaposed flavors. Lemons are used to add a layer of refreshment and enhance the flavor of something bland or to neutralize the robust; they are one of nature’s best palate cleansers.

If life gives us lemons, we should turn it into a sugary drink that makes us thirstier because of its added contents? What do we all want after another glass of lemonade? Another glass of lemonade.


I thought the paragraph above was the end of this piece. With little else to say, I researched the lyrics to Gucci Mane’s 2009 hit song and found a story to tell. In The Autobiography of Gucci Man, Guwop’s explained one night, he was “high as hell” in the studio at the Palms Casino and resort in Las Vegas. He instructed producer, Mr. Bangladesh to play him the one beat every other rapper refused and felt they could not do anything with.

A track with bright piano staccatos and a bassline which moved around knocked out of the studio monitors. Bang’s beat was in the pleasant and jubilant key of Bb major: a signature I-as a musician-have often associated with yellow; a color psychologists oft-associate with joy and hopefulness. However, in hip hop world, I understand how and why many emcees would overlook such cheerful music.

Gucci Mane felt inspired by the challenge and came up with an idea. The premise and concept of the whole song was birthed because on this Last Vegas night, Mr. Zone 6 ran out of Sprite to mix with his lean-prescription-grade cough syrup in which the main ingredient is promethazine-and instead, opted for the drink the song was named after. One could say Gucci Mane took a lemon and made “Lemonade.”

…or he took advantage of what others undervalued and used it as an enhancement, as is.

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