When Beyoncé dropped her visual album Lemonade on Saturday night, the internet exploded with appreciation, critiques, memes, and soon enough, fanfiction, including The Lemons. Written by Eric Richardson, the multi-part series imagines what would happen behind closed doors if Beyoncé and Jay Z were discussing Lemonade and its lyrical allusions to martial infidelity. Throughout, the fanfic versions of Bey and Jay are visited by the likes of Empire star Taraji P. Henson, acclaimed director Ava DuVernay, Beyoncé’s sister Solange, rapper J Cole, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and even a resurrected Prince. According to Richardson, his blog received 50,000 page views just after posting the story.
EW caught up with the 27-year-old Richardson, a security guard who writes beats in his spare time and lives in Baltimore with his wife and son, to hear the story behind the fanfic and what’s next in The Lemons.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you a longtime Beyoncé fan?
RICHARDSON: In a way. I’m not a member of the Beyhive but I’ve followed her music since her “Kitty Kat” days.
How long after seeing Lemonade did you start writing the fan fiction?
I had posted a few tweets on Saturday, like “Imagine if Beyonce had played it for Jay Z?” People were like, ‘That idea would be hilarious if you fanfic-ed it out.’ It seemed funny for me to expand on it so I did that. When I posted on the blog, it took off.
What made you want to bring Taraji and Ava in to the mix?
At first in one of the tweets I posted I said like, “Taraji and Ava and my sister and my mom are coming over.” I thought it was a funny group of women to have but as I wrote it they became their own characters. It became so fun for me.
And then Kim and Kanye come in!
I couldn’t have Beyoncé fan fiction come in without Kim and Kanye coming in and having them draw her ire.
How did you want to incorporate Prince into the story?
When you do fan fiction it usually makes it better to draw on other pop culture. I made him a character because I’m definitely a Prince fan, and I was hurt when he passed. I thought it would be a funny way to remember him rather than remix his music or something corny like that.
Are you working on Part 3?
I’ve been having so much fun with it that I’ve actually written up to Part 5.
What’s going to happen?
I can’t expose too much but I will say Leonardo DiCaprio pops up. It’s a who’s who of TMZ favorites.
Are you a big Jay Z fan?
In a way. I definitely got [2003’s] Black Album for Christmas when it dropped and everyone thought he was retiring. My dad used to put on Jay Z since Reasonable Doubt came out in 1996.
As a fan, what do you think about the gossip that’s come out of this art?
It’s the same thing that usually happens. I have a feeling Beyoncé knew what would happen if she put out Lemonade the way it is. Everyone takes sides. But it’s out there, so we can either talk about it, ignore it or write fan fiction about it.
Have you written other fan fiction before?
Not really. I used to write anime fan fiction in middle school and I’ve seen people on Tumblr posting fan fiction — like if Drake brought Aaliyah back to life — but I would be like what kind of person sits around writing fan fiction? Now here I am. Life comes at you fast.