There is so much to unpack from this beautiful album. The more you know (about Beyonce, Jay-Z, history, etc.), the more you catch. But, what I like about this work of art is that you can know nothing at all and still just enjoy the songs and vibe to the melodies.
However, if your "Woke Meter" is on Crissle, then you're catching every reference and your cracking up with Beezus and Jova! I'm only catching a few of the references and getting help from others with the others, but what I do catch gives me life, so I'm sharing the life with you! A lot of this will sound repetitive because it is so hard for me to find words that are perfect enough to describe this album, but bear with me as I try.
So, occasionally Beyoncé has to remind y'all that she knows who she is. This is that reminder. Also, I cannot move on without mentioning that they shot a flawlessly BLACK video in Le Louvre in Paris! Now, the artistic significance of the paintings to the meaning of the words, I didn't catch. But, how beautiful was the video? There were beautiful Black people dancing in the Louvre. There were beautiful Black people doing hair in the Louvre (with a pick)! History was made that day, in the Louvre, and I see it as nothing but beauty.
Also, she raps better than 89% of the rappers that are out today. What category can she not take? I don't think said category exists! They are all hers.
However, what's important to know about this song is the fact that Beyoncé knows the type of work she's putting out, she knows that people are going crazy for it. So, "put some respeck on [her] check" and continue to empty your pockets for her!
Sorry to bounce around, but who else was shocked to hear the Migos on this album? I know that I was shocked, not that I actually know who they are, but it was exciting to look into the people that Bey and Jay allowed on this project. It helped create a sound that, I'm sure, many of us weren't expecting.
One more thing: I cannot ignore the fact that The Carters want y'all to know that they DO NOT care about this "fame" thang! It's so great to see because fame and likes are all people live for these days! I love seeing them kill it without a care.
Your fav simply could never.
I love the vocals by Beyoncé on this song. Her voice just sounds like bacon-wrapped perfection, but beyond that, the message is adorable.
I think that Damien Marley's outro on this song tells us listeners everything that we need to know about where Beyoncé and Jay-Z are in their relationship. They are connecting with each other, away from all of the noise of publicity. They've found peace and in their peace, rekindled their love and strengthened their connection with each other and it's very noticeable. I love it when the music or the artistry shows all of the work that's being put in behind the scenes -- whether that's the work of Bey & Jay in fixing their relationship, or the work that it took to create the album. You can just see the work.
The lyrics, however... Bey & Jay just being and existing together is what they're talking about here. It seems so raw and so personal--this space that they've entered into.
As someone who is so into connections, I enjoy listening to these songs and I enjoy watching their chemistry on stage because it shows their connection with each other. They are fun together, they laugh together, they've cried together, and to me that's worth more than being with someone. They just get the best of both worlds.
"Y'all could make up with a bag, I had to change the weather."
Love this joint! We get to hear about genuine, real, and happy love. I think that it's amazing. The music is music and, like some believe, it could be for complete entertainment purposes and nothing more, but I really believe in this process because I've lived it.
Now, I didn't live the mature man realizing his wrongs, getting the help that he needs by talking it out with a therapist, and then actually changing. I lived the part where I figured out that I was worth (1) a man that knows what he has from the beginning, that cherishes what we have and is my biggest fan; or, (2) a man that will take the necessary steps to change after whatever it is that tears us apart in the first place. These are the realizations that allow you to leave a situation no matter how comfortable, no matter how public, and no matter what the public perception will be of you leaving. Beyoncé really left Jay-Z. She was ready and willing to let her man go because he forgot, however temporarily, how to be her man. A lot of girls/women will not do this out of fear of being alone, or fear of how this will look. I commend every woman who values herself enough to walk away at least until a change is genuinely made.
And, speaking of, a lot of the Beyhive has just been ready to write Jay-Z off (or worse), but Bey and Jay had a connection (to them) that ended up being worth the work that it would take to rekindle what they had and to fix what was wronged. Some relationships are worth this, and, although I see girls forgiving guys that could care less about them and continue to blatantly lie because they know that they'll be forgiven, that wasn't the case here. Jay immediately acknowledged that he was wrong and began to take the steps. He even asked for the Hive's forgiveness in this album, so I'm no longer a Hive member that will roll my eyes at him when I see him in concert.
You can't have a Beyoncé ANYTHING without hearing about home, Houston! I just love how Houston she is.
This song is a story. It's Jay-Z telling the short version of them getting together, breaking up, and getting back together. Jay-Z is at a point where he's able to admit that he messed up. He's able to be open with Bey about it and listeners about it, and he's able to admit that he was dead wrong. He goes on to tell a bit about what he had to go through to get her back and thanks women for all that they do.
The question always remains, 'but why do y'all have to put us through these things just to see how great we are', but I guess that's just become the reality of relationships (???... Help me out, I don't date).
"We measure success by how many people successful next to you..."
This song, to me, is testament to the hard work that Beyoncé and (I guess) Jay-Z put in on the regular. They are able to chill and make millions with their toes in the sand because of the fact that their grind does not shut off! She let us know that her great, great grandchil'ren are already rich and they aren't even born yet! She KNOWS! We see her working the day after she comes off of tour! Those braids come back and her laptop is at the ready -- her grind does not stop. You cannot knock a hustle like theirs.
In this song both Bey and Jay address misconceptions like, people thinking that they don't have real-world problems, as well as the thought that you can't stand next to someone and also be as good as them or surpass them (Jay addressing the fact that people won't even work with him because they're busy wanting to be better than him).
This is my favorite song, hands down.
We rarely hear Beyoncé go in depth about her friendships. We hear that her people are poppin' and that she's poppin', but rarely do we get the "I need my friends", "I love my life" vibes that we get from this song, so, now that we're getting it, I LIVE for it!
Surprisingly, one of my favorite parts of this song is Jay-Z's part. I love when he mentions everyone allowed at his house. Throughout this song, both Bey and Jay tell the listeners how small their circles are with no plans of it getting bigger. Jay addresses selfish "friends" like Kanye who is still butthurt about how it looks that he didn't attend his wedding all while Jay and Bey were beefin'. Jay has to let him know that a real friend would understand that he's not going anywhere when he and his wife aren't right! You shouldn't have to tell real friends certain things. The idea is that they would know, but let's be real, no one knows how to be a real friend these days!
My other favorite part is the end. Beyoncé's lines at the end hit home for me:
"Your friends are faux, My friends are goals
Closer than kin, Our souls exposed
Your friends are frauds, All they want is applause, Yeah
And my friends, real friends, Closer than kin"
This hit home for me because, if you've read previous posts at all, you know that I am big on friendships, connections, loyalty and honesty. They all play a role in what others get to be within your life. And, in a field where honesty and integrity are supposed to matter most, I am learning that few (if any people I'm surrounded by) even have these qualities.
Beyoncé is someone who is nice to everyone that she comes across. She's sweet and kind, and these qualities usually give weak people the space to speak negatively or speak lies about her (similar to real life). But in this album, I love that she lets the listeners know that she's not having it. She let y'all know that she no longer has room for new people, she's keeping her circle small. She reminded y'all that she's Beezus (because Kanye has been overstepping lately), so my advice this time around (for all the haters) is the same as hers -- Watch the Throne (& also keep my name out ya mouth -- Heard About Us).
I definitely didn't get to all of the songs, and I for sure did not go into detail as much as I could have on the songs that I mentioned (shoot I think I got so distracted that I didn't even unpack them), but I hope it is very clear that I truly love everything about this album.
I love the blackness of the video for Apeshit.
I love that they mentioned being good on any MLK Boulevard, and for those of you that don't understand that... There are plenty of sell-outs these days: they sell out their families, they sell out their culture, they sell out themselves. The Carter's are letting y'all know that they have not sold out at all, so they're free to walk from Boulevard to Boulevard (& the Blackest of Boulevards), but a lot of people can't say the same thing (Kanye, for one).
The amount of little things that there are to catch in these songs is insane, and I guarantee that I will continue to listen to this album on repeat for months to come!
I hope y'all enjoyed my scattered break-down (that wasn't so much a break-down but really a STAN SESSION) of this album. If you haven't heard it (probably 2 people in the world), go listen now.