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Sunday Times - - Review - Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi

The Carters – Ev­ery­thing is Love

In 2016 Bey­oncé gave us Le­mon­ade, the al­bum about in­fi­delity and the heal­ing that fol­lowed it. In 2017 Jay Z re­leased 4:44, the mea culpa record that made cheat­ing black men ev­ery­where want to “act right”. And now in 2018, the cou­ple — as The Carters — wraps up their “this is us” tril­ogy with Ev­ery­thing Is Love, which is like a more so­phis­ti­cated, more ego-fu­elled and cer­tainly swag­gier ver­sion of their clas­sic hit, ’03 Bon­nie and Clyde.

It’s now 10 years into their mar­riage and 16 years since their first of many col­lab­o­ra­tions. The Carters are cur­rently on their sec­ond joint world tour (which ex­cludes Africa, of course), On the Run II, ac­com­pa­nied by a book fea­tur­ing, well, slightly weird pic­tures of the cou­ple.

Thank­fully, Ev­ery­thing Is Love is a fan­tas­tic al­bum, 39 min­utes and nine tracks of: brag­ging, reaf­firm­ing their love for each other, be­ing black in Amer­ica, money, ma­te­ri­al­ism, the mu­sic in­dus­try, their fam­ily (their daugh­ter Blue Ivy is men­tioned a lot — and even quoted by her mother on one of the tracks), sex and beefs (not meat, but rap ri­val­ries, thanks).

Bey­oncé doesn’t sing much, choos­ing in­stead to rap (I guess one could call it that). She’s bet­ter at singing, but her rap­ping style flows per­fectly with the sound of this record.

Ev­ery­thing Is Love was re­leased along with the video for one of its high­lights, Apeshit. The track has a very 2018 sound (it even fea­tures Quavo from Mi­gos) and the video has amaz­ing vi­su­als: Bey and Jay in the Lou­vre (yes, they filmed a mu­sic video in­side the freak­ing Lou­vre), look­ing amaz­ing, re­gal, cool and con­fi­dent. The im­agery could also have been at home on Bey­oncé’s ac­com­pa­ny­ing Le­mon­ade film or her sis­ter Solange’s A Seat at the Ta­ble record.

High­lights on the al­bum in­clude Nice, where the cou­ple raps with so much at­ti­tude about how “nice” they are (“I’m so nice/ I’m ev­ery­body’s type/ god­damn right/… I’m bet­ter than the hype,” Bey raps) — it’s de­li­ciously tongue-in-cheek.

Heard About Us breaks away from the trap-lite sound to ex­per­i­ment with a bit of chill­wave, and it’s great. Another highlight is 713, which will put more money in Dr Dre’s pocket — be­cause he to­tally needs it. (That’s sar­casm, folks — he’s worth $770-mil­lion to Jay-Z’s $900-mil­lion).

What’s in­ter­est­ing about Ev­ery­thing Is Love is how it can sat­isfy both Jay and Bey fans and both lovers of late ’90s/early ’00s rap as well as those who en­joy the much­ma­ligned but in­sanely pop­u­lar trap era.

(For the first time in its his­tory, rap is the big­gest-sell­ing genre in Amer­ica — and that’s pre­cisely be­cause of the pop­u­lar­ity of trap mu­sic).

The con­clu­sion? Jay Z and Bey­oncé make a fan­tas­tic mu­si­cal team. Who’d have thunk it?

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ITS HIS­TORY, RAP IS THE BIG­GEST-SELL­ING GENRE IN AMER­ICA

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