Just when you thought Beyoncé and Jay-Z were turning their attention to their globe-trotting “On the Run 2” tour, which kicked off earlier this month in Wales, the couple managed to re-direct the conversation with the surprise weekend arrival of “Everything is Love.”
Here are three things we learned from the nine-song release, which is only (currently) available on Tidal, the streaming service partially owned by Jay-Z. Keep an ear out for Migos, Pharrell Williams and Ty Dolla Sign on the album, as well.
1. Jay-Z and Beyoncé do not suffer from a lack of self-confidence. “I said no to the Super Bowl / You need me, I don’t need you / Every night we in the end zone / Tell the NFL we in stadiums, too,” Jay-Z raps in “Ape****,” the first single from the album filmed in an empty Louvre. In the same song, he also admonishes the Grammy Awards; despite his eight nominations in January, he left empty-handed. “Tell the Grammys [expletive] that 0 for 8 [expletive],” he says.
On “Boss,” Beyonce emphasizes the couple’s wealth (as if anyone was questioning that?): “My great-great-grandchildren already rich / That’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list.”
2. Clearly, the pair has worked through the issues that resulted in Beyonce’s layered, shade-throwing “Lemonade” and Jay-Z’s response, the stark “4:44” (aka, the album nominated for a bunch of Grammys that didn’t win any).
On “Ape****,” Beyonce frequently drops a, “I can’t believe we made it,” line and revisits it in the bonus track, “Salud!,” singing, “Celebrate that we made it.” The aptly named “Nice” also finds her proclaiming that she and Jay are “feeling like the best year ever.”
3. Jay-Z noted in a New York Times story in 2017 that he and his wife used art as a sort of therapy session to make new music.They’ve now made music to directly respond to rumors and slights, standing tall while they sling their arrows.
On “Heard About Us,” Jay-Z makes a final, exasperated comment about his 23-year-old alleged love child: “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.” In “Friends,” he calls out the fickle ones who can’t maintain an alliance, and also seemingly alludes to Kanye West, who said he was “hurt” when the Carters didn’t attend his 2014 wedding to Kim Kardashian.
“I ain't going to nobody for nothing when me and my wife beefing / I don't care if the house on fire … / If ya'll don't understand that, we ain't meant to be friends,” Jay-Z claps back.