First off, I aspire to reach the scheming and conniving potential of The Carters. Talk about shock value. They deserve all the applause for being the epitome of moving in silence and genius marketing.
It was a calm Saturday and I was getting into the array of albums that just dropped from Jay Rock’s Redemption to Christina’s Liberation. Now amid some wayward Kanye/Cudi releases (that I adamantly refuse to listen to) to a Nas album that had the misfortune of being released on said weekend and has now vanished into the ether plus an impending Drake album that already feels meh and blander than unseasoned chicken courtesy of Pusha T, all the attention has been sucked dry by the hiphop royal family that took it upon themselves to drop an album from the clear blue sky and literally stop the world.
Following years of fan-fiction speculation, Beyonce and Jay Z dropped their first joint album, Everything Is Love. The project compiles 9 tracks with a runtime of about 38 minutes. If you are expecting ballads, stop right here as this is definitely not it. Go get you Beyonce’s 4 and Sasha Fierce for the ballads. She has fully gone into bad b*tch rapper mode. She barely sings at all, in fact. Everything is Love is all about upbeat production, bravado-soaked bars and a whole lotta stuntin’.
This is truly a joint effort, not a bunch of Beyonce songs with Jay verses tacked on to the end, nor does Jay hog the limelight while Bey is relegated to hook duty.
The intro Summer starts if off real breezy and sensual with Jay punctuating with Let it breathe amidst Beyonce’s harmonizing resulting in a smooth tune laying the groundwork for the album.
Apesh*t is a trap music at its finest. Rapper Bey marks her entrance delivering her flow in such a braggadocios tone. Quavo and Offset of the Migos clan have been credited for their adlibs, which actually work to the good of the record. Beyonce is talking mad greasy about vitamin D, reversing on the D and what not while Jay-Z’s bars of Chief Keef and Lion King get me too hyped.
The couple tag Ty Dolla Sign for Boss, a chilled transition with not as much loud production, and I have to say the chemistry between these two is so effortless and swaggy. There’s only horns and harmonizing but Bey and Jay take sling bars back and forth like Lil Kim and Big Poppa in their heyday. This is an anthem that’s about to have Instagram captions lit from Jay’s It’s disturbing what I gross//Everybody bosses until it’s time to buy the office to Bey’s My great great grandchildren already rich/That’s a lot of children on your Forbes list. I feel so poor..sigh
The irony is not lost on me as Bey gets grimy and just plain disrespectful on Nice ( Pharell Williams really laid his magic hands on this beat) with a whole lot of cussing; Patiently waiting for my demise//‘Cause my success can’t be quantified//If I gave two f*cks about streaming numbers//Would have put Lemonade up on Spotify . And then she breaks into a melodic Fuck you, fuck you/you’re cool, fuck you. Tell us how you really feel then
713 is one of my favorites. Executed against Dre and Snoop’s Still, 713 is an homage to her Houston roots dripping in throwback vibes. The storytelling of their love, the infectious hook and their smooth delivery against the bass makes for an absolute gem. The trap rapping keeps on with Friends and Heard about Us with Jay dropping bars and Bey doing melodic rapping.
Can I just say if my man is not of Jay’s school of thought; I ain’t going to nobody nothing when me and my wife beefing/I don’t care if the house on fire, I’m dying nigga I ain’t leaving, he can keep his proclamation of love to himself, f*ck you very much.
This album really has me feeling seriously aggressive and audacious.
The switch from sung vocals to rap flow was so seamless throughout this body of work. I can hear the wigs being snatched. Hairlines are being pushed back. This is a whole groove.
There is something to be said about the almost paradox nature of the album; it is both anthemic and candid; braggadocious yet serene; the kind of music you make with your partner who has spent a lifetime in hip-hop and R&B.
But at its core, Everything Is Love is simply a celebration of black love depicting the ups and downs of any relationship. Bonnie and Clyde have really grown up on us.
Notable favorites; Summer, Apeshit, Boss, Nice, 713, Friends (damn near the entire album)
Overall Rating – 9.5/10