Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming.
Rumours have long swirled about the creation of a collaborative Bey and Jay album. Last November, Jay told The New York Times that a project with Bey started coming together as they worked on 4:44 and Lemonade. “We were using our art almost like a therapy session,” he said at the time. “And we started making music together.” He explained that, because Bey’s music was progressing more quickly, Lemonade ended up coming out as opposed to the joint album that [they] were working on.
Jay disses the Grammys on “APESHIT,” rapping, “Tell the Grammys fuck that 0 for 8 shit.” (Jay was the most nominated artist at the 2018 ceremony, but was completely shut out.) He also confirms the rumour that he turned down a Super Bowl Halftime Show offer: “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.”
Queen Bey calls out Spotify on the track “NICE.” She raps, “If I gave…two fucks about streaming numbers woulda put Lemonade up on Spotify. Fuck you,” referencing the fact that her 2016 album has never been available on the streaming platform. Jay refers to Meek Mill’s recent release from prison on “FRIENDS,” and on “HEARD ABOUT US,” Beyoncé sings the iconic line from Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy”: “If you don’t know, now you know, n*gga.”
The album seems to function as the last instalment in a sort of marriage trilogy that began with Beyonce’s, “Lemonade” and her widely discussed stories of infidelity, continued with Jay’s tales of remorse on his “4:44” last year. Apparently, the story reaches a happy ending with “Everything Is Love.”