The Carters to the rescue again. It was just another Saturday evening and Beyoncé and Jay-Z came in and snatched everyone’s wigs with a surprise release of their joint album Everything Is Love and an accompanying video for “Apeshit”. With a total of nine tracks (ten including the bonus track, Salud!), EIL has ushered in a new musical era in both of their careers. Here are a few first impression takeaways from their latest surprise album
1.They Are Still Unapologetically Black
Given the current political climate, it seems only natural to frame the release of “Everything Is Love” in opposition to the recent releases by their former friend and collaborator Kanye West. West has been anything but coy about expressing his support for Donald Trump espousing beliefs on slavery traditionally held up by White Supremacist. Because of his recent controversial commends, Kanye West has become a “problematic fav” for many of his supporters, especially his African-American fans. In recent weeks, West released his album, Ye, and served as the executive produced for recent albums by Pusha-T and Nas. Whereas West seems to be trying to find a way to use his success to overcome his race, The Carters are using their success to uplift and exalt it. They are offering an example of how to be Black, successful, and proud in the current political climate. They rented out the Louvre, a museum steeped in a history of traditional European colonialism, and filled it with Black and Brown bodies in a full display of African-American culture. From the album cover to the imagery on video for APESHIT, its clear Bey and Jay have not forgotten their roots. Just like their video, they have learned how to move in the upper echelon of society and bring their culture with them rather than try and leave it behind.
2. They Are Unbothered
The lyrics make it clear they are holding nothing back. They are not mincing their words and they are at a level of success where they don’t really care
Beyoncé calls out Spotify on “Nice”
“Patiently waiting for my demise
Cause my success can’t be quantified
If I gave two fucks – two fucks about streaming numbers
Would have put Lemonade up on Spotify
Fuck you, fuck you, you’re cool, fuck you, I’m out (Ah!)”
Jay-Z calls out the Grammys on “Apeshit”
“Tell the Grammys fuck that 0 for 8 shit/
Have you ever seen the crowd goin’ apeshit?”
Jay-Z is not here for the rumors that he has a lovechild. On “Heard About Us”
“For the thousandth time, the kid ain’t mine
Online they call me Dad, kiddingly
You’re not supposed to take this dad thing literally”
Jay-Z gives an explanation of why he did not attend Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
“I ain’t going to nobody for nothing when me and my wife beefing
I don’t care if the house on fire, I’m dying, nigga, I ain’t leaving
Ty Ty take care of my kids, after he done grieving
If ya’ll don’t understand that, we ain’t meant to be friends.”
3. Beyoncé Is A Damn Good Rapper
We’ve seen hints of Trap-Beyoncé from “7-11” up to her most recent showings on “Top Off” and “Shining” but on EIL, she’s full-on rapping on most of these songs and holds her own when going head-to-head with her husband. On many of the songs, Jay-Z plays takes the backseat in order to let her shine. It may not have been the Beyoncé solo album that many in the beyhive were hoping for, but it’s refreshing to see a happier, more-upbeat Beyoncé.
4.The Current Chapter In The Carter Saga Is a Happy One
This seems like the third chapter in the Carter Trilogy. Beyoncé started it all off with Lemonade, her most powerful and personal work to date, where she used her personal pain and betrayal to reflect the universal truths of the Black female experience in America. Jay-Z followed shortly after with 4:44, an attempt to display remorse, redemption, and maturation. Everything Is Love is just as personal as their most recent solo efforts but overall seems more jovial in a way that the previous two albums were not. This joint venture seems like a resolution to the turmoil and sadness that was displayed on Lemonade and 4:44. They seem genuinely happy and unified in a way that we have not seen them in a long time.
Who knows what The Carters will have in store for us with the remainder of this album rollout, but I’m sure they will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.