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Copy of Everything is Love (LP)

Highlight Tracks: Apeshit, Friends, Black Effect

The last few years have been a wild roller coaster for the Carters as they’ve gone through the highs and lows of their very public life, while the entire world watched. In 2016, Beyoncé put out her revealing, yet empowering, Lemonade, creating more buzz around her husband’s infidelity and the drama that she had to face while dealing with it. In response, Jay-Z dropped 4:44, a confessional album that dove deeper into the subject, highlighting his side of the story and his road to his wife’s forgiveness. With their highly personal albums well received and the air cleared, it only feels right that Beyoncé and Jay-Z put out their first collaborative album together, Everything is Love.

Starting the album off is the opening track, “Summer,” which feels like a glass of ice cold lemonade on a warm summer’s day. Beyoncé arrives on the track over steady drums and a celestial orchestra, as her divine voice lifts you up into the Carters’ light. Only then does Jay-Z’s verse soon come in like a cool pair of sunglasses to shade you from their glow. With this, the Carters deliver us the most regal of baby-making music. On “Apeshit,” Beyoncé reminds us that she has the juice, the sauce, and everything else in the fridge, as she spits fire on top of a synthy trap rumble, finessing every line as if your favorite rapper didn’t even exist. Jay-Z flexes for a minute with a few bars and then chills in the background with a few of the Migos, adding more fuel to Beyoncé’s fire with their quick ad-libs.

On “Boss,” the production fluctuates from a harmonic menagerie of gospel-like crooning into a horn-filled bop, as Beyoncé’s confidence oozes all over the track with her rapping the luxuries of her life, while owning the hook as a personal testament to her boss status. Jay-Z pulls into the beat, listing off the differences in being a real boss and pretending you are one—unaffected by those who try to compare themselves to his wealthy legacy. The Pharrell produced track, “Nice,” give Jay-Z the flossy production he needs to unleash his rapping superpower, in which he uses to chronicle his rise from the trap into hip-hop royalty. Beyoncé bounces onto the beat with her own rap steez, letting the world know that she doesn’t give a fuck and that she can do whatever she wants. She then trades off the end of her verse with Pharrell, giving it his magic touch.

The Carters bring us into the streets with the bass-knocking “713,” as Jay-Z raps on his undeniable truth while also showing respect for Beyoncé for sticking by him—as well as all the black women who have stood by black men throughout all the turmoil they’ve faced. On the standout track, “Friends,” Beyoncé sweeps a trap beat into the background as she brags and boasts about her quality friendships that have helped her reach the top spot. Jay-Z then arrives to further cement the theme of friendship by rapping on the exclusivity of his circle and keeping all his people that matter close to him. Dealing with unprecedented levels of fame, Beyoncé and Jay-Z acknowledge the noise that surrounds them in “Heard About Us.” Beyoncé stunts and keeps her cool, while Jay-Z tackles controversies that have fallen upon him since attaining such greatness and learning to accept the good with the bad. Sidenote: the word “nigga” has never sounded so beautiful until Beyoncé sang it.

The track, “Black Effect,” brings out black excellence with a soulful sample guiding the rolling production, as Jay-Z presents the hook, while also slickly sharing what he’s done for hip-hop culture and the black community. Beyoncé then delivers her robust vocals and crushes the beat among her wispy harmonies and swagger-singing. To finish up their album, the Carters serve you with “LoveHappy,” a boom bap bop that has Beyoncé and Jay-Z trading lines back-and-forth, as they take us even further into the craziness that nearly ruined their marriage. Beyoncé launches you into the skies as her voice pierces the soundscape, closing out the album with her sweet melodies full of life and happiness.

With Everything is Love, Beyoncé and Jay-Z willing show their scars and face their fansoffering maturity, grace, and love in place of controversy.