While there have definitely been spoken-word elements on previous Beyoncé tracks, her new album, Everything Is Love, with her husband, Jay Z, marks the first time Bey has really gone there, rap-wise. And, of course, she’s incredible at it, because, hey, she’s Beyoncé.
The couple dropped the surprise album on Saturday afternoon, after their second London show of the On the Run Tour II. If you are one of the few people who didn’t immediately cancel their weekend plans to listen to the album immediately, here’s what you need to know.
Jay Z has been teasing the joint album for a couple of years, with speculation hitting an all-time high when the couple announced this summer’s joint tour. The album is officially released under the artist name the Carters, not that that’s fooling anyone. There are also music cameos from Migos and Pharrell on the presumably lead single “APESHIT.”
While Bey’s past two albums have come with full visuals for every song, so far we only have a video for “APESHIT,” but what a video it is. The Carters were granted full access to the Louvre, and, boy, did they deliver, with plenty of costume changes, art references, and, yes, Beyoncé rapping, much to the delight of Twitter and a certain rising pop princess, Dua Lipa.
“Beyonce is my favorite rapper,” tweeted the “New Rules” singer, one of the many people praising Bey’s newest skill on social media.
Or, perhaps not so new. As The Fader put it, in their very thorough history of Bey’s development as a rapper, “Beyoncé is the best. She bodies choreography, empowers women to shine outside of the shadows, unabashedly champions blackness, and yes—she has the range…the almighty goddess is also great at rapping.”
Is there anything Beyoncé can’t do?
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Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams attend a celebration of Dundas’s first traveling flagship in Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy of Instagram).
Gugu Mbatha-Raw attends a celebration of Dundas’s first traveling flagship in Los Angeles.
Heidi Klum attends a celebration of Dundas’s first traveling flagship in Los Angeles.
Alessandra Ambrosio attends a celebration of Dundas’s first traveling flagship in Los Angeles.
Daniel Arsham and Usher attend the opening of American Express Platinum x Daniel Arsham New Exhibition at Morán Morán Gallery.
Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan attend the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival afterparty for The Seagull, hosted by Bulleit at the Mailroom on April 21, 2018, in New York City.
Ewan McGregor and guest attend the afterparty for ZOE during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at the Ainsworth on April 22, 2018, in New York City.
Alia Shawka and Natasha Lyonne attend the afterparty for Duck Butter during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at Bar Gonzo on April 20, 2018, in New York City.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend attend City Harvest’s 35th Anniversary Gala.
Bart Freundlich and Julianne Moore attend City Harvest’s 35th Anniversary Gala.
Billie Lourd attends the Tribeca Film Festival and Moët & Chandon celebrate the winners of the third annual Moët Moment Film Festival.
Chloe Wise and Antwaun Sargent attend the Art Production Fund Dinner.
Lauren Santo Domingo and Amina Taher attend the Etihad and Moda Operandi event at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.
John Mellencamp stands in front of his work during a private viewing of “Life, Death, Love, Freedom” at ACA Galleries on April 25, 2018, in New York City.
Pom Klementieff attends Pierre Hardy hosts dinner at the Chateau Marmont.
Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, and Dao-Yi Chow attend the Apex for Youth Awards Gala.
Grace Mahaney attends the Apex for Youth Awards Gala.
Katie Holmes and Zac Posen attend the Brooks Brothers Bicentennial Celebration at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2018, in New York City.
Yara Shahidi poses with her family during the Brooks Brothers Bicentennial Celebration at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2018, in New York City.