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?