Beyoncé and Jay-Z — the embodiment of a power couple — dropped a surprise new album as “The Carters,” their first full-length joint album together. The no-holds album acts as the third installment in the trilogy that was Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Jay-Z’s 4:44. Everything is Love reveals, well, everything from Jay-Z’s (born Shawn Carter) regret over his affair to Beyoncé’s desire to forgive.
It acts as a celebration of their relationship, their success as a couple, and their relationship to the world as two revolutionary black artists. We rounded up the top six things the new album revealed about the Carters’ relationships — with each other, their children, and their fans.
They’re still working through the aftermath of Jay-Z’s affair
Rumors first sparked of Jay-Z’s infidelity after a video surfaced showing Solange Knowles hitting Jay-Z in an elevator. Beyoncé dropped Lemonade on the world, an album rife with regret, confusion, and ultimately forgiveness, which confirmed an affair to her fans. Jay himself admitted to cheating in a deeply personal interview with T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
Beyoncé sings a few lyrics on Love is Everything that indicate the couple is still working through the aftermath of Jay-Z’s affair — and the resulting media attention. In “SUMMER,” a smooth track reminiscent of the couple’s hit “Drunk In Love,” the Carters take to the beach again, but this time it isn’t all surfboards and cigars on ice.
“We’ve never been this far from the shore / we may not ever go back anymore,” Beyoncé sings in the first verse. While they keep things light the rest of the track, “LOVEHAPPY” delves deeper into their desire to make things work.
“You did some things to me, boy you do some things to me / But love is deeper than your pain and I believe you can change / Baby, the ups and downs are worth it, long way to go, but we’ll work it / We’re flawed but we’re still perfect for each other / Sometimes I thought we’d never see the light / Went through hell with heaven on our side / This beach ain’t always been no paradise But nightmares only last one night (Happy in love).”
It was love at first sight for Jay-Z
“713” (a reference to a Houston area code) acts as a tribute to their early relationship and Beyoncé’s Texas roots. Jay-Z remarks on one of their first interactions during MTV’s “Spring Break” festival in Cancun as well as the moment he found himself sitting next to his future wife on an airplane. “Fate had me sittin’ next to you on the plane / And I knew straight away, uh,” Jay-Z says in the first verse.
They started their relationship on the phone. Beyoncé was in a longterm relationship with a Houston chef and childhood friend named Lyndall Locke. They paused their relationship when he relocated to Austin and Beyoncé began talking to Jay-Z daily while touring with Destiny’s Child.
They’re proud of the life they’ve created for their kids
Jay-Z harbors no shame discussing his “nights in the projects” and is rightfully proud to muse about how far the couple has come in the last few decades. Love is Everything specifically addresses the life the Carters set up for their kids (and their kids’ kids, and so on) on multiple tracks.
“In Bel Air, only the nights get cold / I wrapped a yellow jacket around me / It’s not lost on me, music has my kids sound asleep,” he raps in “SUMMER” about their $88 million Los Angeles home.
In “713” the couple balances references to their early relationship and Houston roots with celebratory lyrics about their wealth. “Cash, hit deposit, 24-carat faucets / Louis V and Goyard trunks all in the closet / Ain’t shit change, the streets is still watchin’ / And my little baby Blue is like “Who gon’ stop us, huh?”
In their third track, “BOSS,” the couple ultimately embraces their success. Jay-Z topped Forbes’ list of the richest hip-hop stars early in 2018, so you better believe the album references his point of power. “My great, great grandchildren already rich / That’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list,” Beyoncé sings. She even gives her daughter, Blue Ivy — who is internet famous for being a boss herself — a shout-out on the track. “Droppin’ my daughter off at school every morning / We slammin’ car doors.”
They address the media frenzy and their haters
While quick to proclaim their wealth, the couple toys around with their relationship to fame in “HEARD ABOUT US.” Jay-Z admits notoriety has both perks and disadvantages, rapping how while he’s “every day I’m getting sued famous,” he’s also “shooting videos in the Louvre” famous.
Queen Bey herself weighs in on the couple’s notoriety with a simple hook: “No need to ask you heard about us / Watch your mouth when you around us.”
Their friends are everything — but they aren’t looking to expand their inner circle
On “FRIENDS,” Beyoncé boasts her tightknit friendships, while Jay-Z raps about the ever-changing crews in the media industry and his longtime friend Ty Ty Smith.
“I don’t know what I would do without all of my crew, yeah / I ain’t making no room, yeah / I ain’t making no new friends / I don’t make no moves, yea, without telling my crew, yeah / That just how we do, yeah, that just how we do / Damn it, I love my life,” Beyoncé sings in the first verse.
Before he discusses his inner circle, Jay calls out fake friends (it’s not the only time he throws shade at Kanye on the album) for “switchin’ sides like the NBA teams just after halftime.”
Still, the track mainly references the people the Carters know will be there for the family regardless of fame or fortune.
“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, n***a, I ain’t leaving / Ty Ty take care of my kids, after he done grieving / If y’all don’t understand that, we ain’t meant to be friends.
The new motto? Everything is Love
If the album indicates anything, it’s that the experience was a cathartic one for Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Each song references their newfound motto — that love will conquer all — interwoven with the struggles they have to overcome with one another, the industry, and parenthood.
“Love is universal / Love is going to express itself as a form of forgiveness and compassion for each other,” Beyoncé ends the first track “SUMMER.” The last song on the album, “LOVEHAPPY,” finishes in a similar manner while reminding the world that Bey and Jay aren’t going anywhere. “We came, and we saw, and we conquered it all / We came, and we conquered, now we’re happy in love.”
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