MUSIC TO DOWNLOAD THIS WEEK
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