The Carters

Jay-Z and Beyoncé have gone through a shift in their personalities over the past few albums. Before Lemonade, 4:44 and now EVERYTHING IS LOVE the two were larger than life, indestructible forces of musical exceptionalism. Their brand was ironclad, immune to any attack from outside sources. That air of invulnerability seemed to diminish some with Jay-Z's infamous elevator fight, rumors of cheating and a sense that The Carters had become a bit out of touch. These albums finally let people in, opened the family up and showed some of the skeletons in the closet while also showing that there is always a way forward. This new iteration of Beyoncé especially is harder, more aggressive and willing to try things that former versions of Beyoncé wouldn't have dared. The clear standout from the record is "APESHIT" where Beyoncé  puts her rapping skills on full display, flipping her voice in ways that other rappers can only dream about. Her Double time rapping is a nice as it comes on "APESHIT" as Quavo and Offset can only drop in ad-libs hanging on for dear life. It feels like we are getting a lessonf rom rap royalty on "NICE" as Pharrel, Jay-Z and Beyoncé let us know just how fucking "nice" they are. It is one of those songs you just know you are going to hear all over the place, and it because it's catchy like a Bruno Mars track, but because the sentiment is something every single person wants to participate in.

"713" is one of the real crazy tracks on this record. Here you'll find Jay and Beyoncé emulating Dr. Dre ("Still") or Common ("The Light") weaving these classic deliveries and lines into the track seamlessly. Many Beyoncé fans might not recognize the songs they are borrowing from, but it makes the easter egg a little more exciting for those that recognize what is going on. Jay-Z is also wise to let  shine while He picks his spots almost acting like a permanent feature rather than a true collaboration. On "BOSS" Beyoncé whips out Her drum line vibes that she debuted at Coachella this year and has been blending into Her live shows. "BLACK EFFECT" feels like a classic Jay-Z track with one of his most laid back flows simply allowing the lines to flow from him effortlessly. It becomes a celebration of the life He's carved out for himself and the excellence He demands from those around him. The Carters are positioning themselves as not only the center of culture by the center of Black exceptionalism. It's not enough to perform anymore, it's now about changing what being black in the music industry actually means. The album closes on "LOVEHAPPY" a peak into the trials and tribulations that we all go through and how through love we can eventually conquer them all. EVERYTHING IS LOVE is the third in a string of absolutely stunning albums from Jay-Z and Beyoncé, so much for that whole retirement thing huh Jay?

9.3 out of 10


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