Let’s not pretend to be surprised. The unexpected release, on Saturday, of this first duo album of the most prestigious couple of showbiz American, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, have been telegraphed since TMZ broadcast the 2014 CCTV footage captured in an elevator showing Queen Bey’s sister, Solange, cowering in front of the rapper’s adultery. Beyoncé and Jay-Z then offered their empty-hearted solo album, the company’s first lemonade in 2016, the second one to repent 4:44 last year. Logical and harmonious conclusion of the episode, Everything is Love is a record worse than the sum of its parts.
From the first to the ninth song, Everything is Love revolves around the marital relationship of two American pop icons. Fans of gossip magazines will undoubtedly be fascinated by the confessions, the quirks of Madame and the jokes she expresses to Monsieur’s attention, especially in lovehappy at the end of the album. Everything is fun, but not interesting. The content of the speech Everything is Love hidden instead in the subtext: both settled their accounts there, forming a united front before their opponents, sometimes by naming them directly, if not by rhymes heavy with innuendo.
Their tongues lashed at the American National Football League (NFL), which gave Beyoncé a huge platform for her halftime show at the 50th Superbowl in 2016. She jumped at the chance to inaugurate her firebrand. TRAINING, thereby posing as an activist for the rights of African-Americans. Times have changed…since quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest and President Trump’s anger at the league’s players.
Jay-Z publicly endorses the athlete; in the first quote, Apeshit – the best song on the album, a collaboration with Pharrell Williams and Quavo from Migos, in a glowing trap production – he raps: “I said no to the Super Bowl / Must you have me, I don’t need you”, confirming rumors that he was approached to host the halftime show in February. In addition, it was the organization of the Grammys that he mocked: “Tell the Grammys fuck zero for eight shit”, remembering that he left empty-handed from the last ceremony.
The question of racial inequality once again intervened Black Effect (a half-trap half-soul rhythm signed by Cool Dre that needs Beyoncé’s presence to give it a little soul), where Jay-Z evokes the memory of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, but more intimate way of the actions slow and minimalist Italso co-produced by Pharrell Williams.
This is the rapper’s best individual performance on the album. His most meaningful text, as he evokes the recent legal failures related to his former clothing line and, above all, the work of some media that covered the case by recalling his yesterday as a small-time drug dealer who grew up in low-income housing from Brooklyn. : “After all these years of drug smuggling, huh/Time to remind me I’m Black again, huh? “. In the same song, Beyoncé also attacked Spotify, a rival to the Tidal platform founded by her and her husband: “If I gave two fucks – two fucks about the streaming numbers / Should have put Lemonade on Spotify”.
However, after love, the second major theme of the disc is the display of the couple’s wealth, and the respect imposed on their privilege. “Hundred million cribs, three million watches, all the facts,” Jay-Z boasted in Bossa song with funk tones where the couple reserves their (veiled) attacks on partners in rap game – we think Drake and Kanye West will feel targeted. Almost every song refers to the well-stocked bank accounts and private jets they own — note that the song’s beautiful music video Apeshit, choreographed by Belgian star Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, filmed at the Louvre Museum, with the Mona Lisa in the background, among others. As a symbol of honor and nobility, it could not be better.
Those who raise their eyebrows at this tendency of the multimillionaire couple to describe their luxurious life in this way will unfortunately lose their motives. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are a symbol of black success in this divided America, and they proudly admit it. The strongest rhymes on the album are served by Beyoncé, in the song Boss : “My great-grandchildren are already rich/Lots of brown kids on your Forbes list”. The Carters, a symbol of success, a symbol of liberation especially for African-Americans, and the best snub they can do in Donald Trump’s America. “I can’t believe we made it / This is what we’re thankful for,” Bey raps Apeshit.
Trilogy for trilogy, after albums lemonade and 4:44, Everything is Love will go down in history as the Godfather Part III of the Carter family. We are entitled to about forty minutes of grooves was quite conservative where Beyoncé clearly stole the show from her husband, even though she was rapping – which she did as well as singing. Usually, Jay-Z is content to appear in the middle of songs with two or three verses, rarely unusual; his presence is less beautiful than his recent album, 4:44. So, if we compare this couple’s first album to the avant-garde lemonade or even on the album Beyonce in 2013, it should be recognized that the singer has put the courage outside in favor of rhythms in accordance with the times, if not comfortable soul / funk, from which he can raise two or three songs.