On the front end of their second “On The Run” tour and days after the album releases from Kanye West and Nas–Jay Z and Beyoncé release an album without any rollout or warning!
Everything Is Love put members of the Beyhive and Jay fans alike into a frenzy. Those with TIDAL subscriptions were the first to hear the album, as it was a TIDAL-exclusive release (which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone). Now streaming on all platforms, Love is everything you’d hope to hear from one of America’s favorite couples. Each song a duet. They’re going bar for bar – and there are plenty of bars.
With production from Pharrell, Cool & Dre, Boi-1da, Vinylz, and others, Love is sonically flawless. Jay and B are on all 9 tracks, with few cameos from other artists. Quavo and Offset, of Atlanta’s Migos are featured on the album’s second track titled “APESH*T.” Ty Dolla $ign appears on “BOSS,” using his voice as an instrument to compliment a group of horns on a charming beat. The ageless wonder, Pharrell gives us a verse to talk about on “NICE.” Everything is Love is a powerful dose of the Carters.
Arguably the biggest highlight of the album comes on Love’s second track, the aforementioned “APESH*T.”
Yoncé, Jay, Migos and Pharrell on one track already reeks of success and it did not disappoint. Pharrell supplies the canvas, and it’s a heavy hitter. Ad-libs from Migos’ Quavo and Offset complement the Carters who are the maestros on the masterpiece. The Carters flex about jets, watches, cars and wealth. This type of flexing has a purpose. A casual middle finger, they weren’t supposed to make it. Beyoncé sings on the chorus “I can’t believe we made it / this is what we’re thankful for.”
B takes lead on the first verse and Jay delivers a second one that will make you forget he’s almost 50 years old. If you get lost in all the bravado you may not realize the Carters use the “ape” theme throughout. Ape, gorilla, monkey are all words which have been used as racial slurs toward black people.
The Carters flip it and use it as empowerment–evident in Jay’s verse, where he refers to himself as an animal several times; “I’m a gorilla in a fu*kin coupe” , “I’m like Chief Keef met Rafiki” , “Nana clips for that monkey business”.
Audio of monkeys are heard in the background throughout the song as well. It’s as if the Carters are saying: “Yes, we’re black. No, we weren’t supposed to make it– we’re here now and there’s no ignoring us.”
You can sense this in the visuals for the song even more, which is a masterpiece in its own right.
“APESH*T” marks the first time we’ve heard Beyoncé say “Get off my d*ck”, which was a treat!
The gems don’t slow down here. Pharrell produces another rhymes and bravado filled track on “NICE”. Beyoncé flipped into full Third Ward Houston mode, talking sh*t to the industry. Even throwing shade at Spotify rapping; “If I gave two f*cks about streaming numbers / would have put Lemonade up on Spotify / F*ck you / F*ck you” with peerless grace.
B’s jab at Spotify is just one of many shots at the Carters’ oppostion. On “BLACK EFFECT” Jay refers to the SEC, FBI and the IRS as the “alphabet boys,” most likely in reference to his latest legal dispute with the SEC regarding the clothing company he once owned: Rocawear.
All nine songs on Everything Is Love are jaw-dropping moments and jewels. Each one could will need its own review. The Carters aren’t stars, they’re planets! Making every word they put on wax hold astronomical weight. Everything Is Love feels like it’s a part of an unofficial Carter trilogy; Lemonade, 4:44 and now Everything Is Love. The first two were vulnerable, this one; fun exuberant and unapologetic. the project feels like a Carter celebration where they stunt on everyone. A Jay Z and Beyoncé album that may seem long overdue, might have turned out to be right on time.
Oh yeah, and Jay wanted to remind us to “Tell the Grammy’s f*ck that 0 for 8 sh*t.”
By: Dallas Coronado