Music Review: The Carters – EVERYTHING IS LOVE

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The Carters

EVERYTHING IS LOVE

[Roc Nation; 2018]

Rating: 1.5/5

Several publications have said that EVERYTHING IS LOVE is the finale of a trilogy of albums that also includes Beyoncé’s Lemonade and JAY-Z’s 4:44. It’s true, but the trilogy isn’t about marital triumph; no, it details the despair and the gradual flattening of a once-interesting relationship. Unlike other penetrating relationship sagas — Richard Linklater’s The Before Trilogy comes to mind — EVERYTHING IS LOVE is about the veneer of a successful marriage, and it plays like a press release, a publicity stunt designed to communicate to the world how great Beyoncé and JAY-Z are doing. In other words, this album plays less like an artwork and more like an advertisement for the lives of its creators and the world they live in.

Everything about EVERYTHING IS LOVE feels superficial, from the artists’ constant pronouncement of their love for each other to their engagement with topics like fashion, art, watches (this gets its own category), social issues, how great their friends are, sports, and, indeed, their own lives. The most boring aspect of the album is its centerpiece: the couple’s obsession with their wealth. In their relentless discussion of their finances and the things they own, they lose the magic that threads through so many other fantastic rap songs about money and the things money can buy. In most rap, there’s a degree of irony or at least authentic pride in one’s money and success, with the artist feeling that they’ve worked hard to transform their life for the better. This is one of the reasons that rap has always been deeply intertwined with the neoliberal fantasy that money and upward mobility can transform the quality of our lives. Many of those songs are interesting and sometimes even encourage critical reflection; the billionaire JAY-Z’s lyrics about his assets, which basically read as an itemized list of purchases that should have gone to his accountant instead of winding up here, are extremely dull and legitimately unrelatable because of how one-note they are. There’s no depth here, nothing to invite us to actually think about his and Beyoncé’s experiences as rich people.

Beyoncé’s “APESHIT” line “Bought him a jet/ Shut down Colette/ Philippe Patek/ Get off my dick” just feels lazy, as does JAY-Z’s “713” chorus, “Cash, hit deposit, 24-carat faucets/ Louis V and Goyard trunks all in the closet/ Ain’t shit change, the streets is still watchin’/ And my little baby Blue is like ‘Who gon’ stop us, huh?’” In “BOSS,” it’s “Hundred million crib, three million watch, all facts.” This isn’t even inspiring in a neoliberal way — it feels like walking through a store that’s too expensive for you to be in. As we’ve heard from countless other rappers, money does not make everything better. Future’s half a million on a coupe needs to be coupled by enough pink mollies that he can barely move. Kanye’s hundred grand has to go to hospital bills instead of a watch — money ruins his relationships, it turns his best friends to opps. Haters come out of the woodwork for Dr. Dre when he can finally afford to provide his family with groceries. It’s mo money, mo problems, not mo money, no problems. EVERYTHING IS LOVE is music by, for, and about rich people who are guided by the belief that money cures alienation.

For Beyoncé and JAY-Z, everything is experienced through the lens of money. This is how they see art, which becomes reduced to private property, a set piece, a status symbol. Everything that’s potentially meaningful about art becomes lost for them, whether it’s in JAY-Z’s tepid listing of artists in “Picasso Baby” (from Magna Carta Holy Grail) and his subsequent performance art takeover of New York City’s Pace Gallery, or the “APESHIT” video, which essentially amounts to being the most elaborate museum selfie in history. Indeed, like many today, they care more about who stands before an artwork than what the artwork itself is trying to tell us. The Carters’ fetishization of art and its museums is emblematic of their commitment to the status quo. Art is supposed to be thought about, contemplated, criticized — it’s supposed to point toward ways that we can live better lives. To simply put it on the shelf and take photos of it is to affirm all the history that’s gone into its creation and to recognize none of the social issues that it once aspired to give voice to and change. To be sure, this is also a condemnation of museum culture in general, which the “APESHIT” video glorifies, uncritically, to no end.

The Carters work so hard to sell their problem-free life that it almost feels dystopian. “SUMMER” is a lush, maudlin song about going on vacation and having sex, where Beyoncé and JAY-Z purvey the magnificent feeling that they’re the only people in the world, hiding in the hills and among the sheep, losing track of time. “I don’t have no concept of time/ Even with a rose gold Concept on me,” JAY-Z assures us. Isolated, these notions and activities would seem romantic, but it’s a feeling that threads through the entire album. Their world is deeply solipsistic, a place where nobody else exists, even in “713,” a supposed homage track that ends up shoehorning references to Beyoncé’s hometown (Houston, TX) between romantic reveries of trips to Cancun, Saint-Tropez, and Rome. If this album is supposed to be about love, it feels secondary. It feels more about partitioning, about JAY-Z and Beyoncé sectioning themselves off from everyone else, making us painfully aware of how different they are from us. But is it lonely at the top?

“My friends, real friends, better than your friends,” Beyoncé sings in “FRIENDS.” “That’s how we keep poppin’ out that Benz, yeah/ No foes, real friends, we ain’t even got to pretend, yeah.” JAY-Z boasts, “I’m pullin’ up on my dog, make sure he okay, I don’t even have time/ He copped me a Porsche with butterscotch seats/ This ‘fore they had meals/ Life better than rappers and they don’t even have deals/ That real.” Nothing feels emotional about these experiences; they read like obligations and transactions, a tale of stoic hangouts set to a weirdly melancholy beat, one that never really justifies its existence. It’s no secret that JAY-Z and Kanye have been beefing for a while now, and I presume “FRIENDS” is a passive-aggressive response to Kanye’s “Real Friends,” a pretty interesting and sad song where Kanye explores his bad relationships in light of his own failures: “Who your real friends? We all came from the bottom/ I’m always blamin’ you, but what’s sad, you not the problem,” he raps. Even the real-talk moments of EVERYTHING IS LOVE feel contrived and flashy, those passages where infidelity and commitment are actually brought up, as if The Carters are working overtime to avoid dealing with anything negative at all. By comparison, Lemonade and 4:44 read like sessions with Freud himself, and that’s depressing.

There are some fine moments in this album, too. JAY-Z sounds hungry and focused when he enters in “APESHIT” with “I’m a gorilla in the fuckin’ coupe/ Finna pull up in the zoo/ I’m like Chief Keef meet Rafiki/ Who’s been lyin’ “King” to you?” His flow through the song is one of his best in years, even if the rest of the song feels like a mishmash. Beyoncé is vocally intoxicating in “FRIENDS,” and her rhythm and her bars are good throughout, in a technical way. Listening to her sing is always a treat. But overall, the songs and their beats feel too produced. No, that’s not the right word — they feel too calculated. By the time “LOVEHAPPY” rolls around, with the couple talking about how rich their kids are going to be and assuring us that they’re still perfect for each other, it seems like not much at all has changed, that nothing meaningful has really been revealed. But what else would you expect from people with $3 million watches and no concept of time?

Jay-Z Named President Of Puma Basketball

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Jay-Z has been named Puma’s president of basketball operations, according to Complex. The rapper will helm the clothing company’s freshly relaunched basketball division, which was announced today with signees DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Zhaire Smith. Former ball player Walt Clyde Frazier will be the brand’s lifetime endorser. “We’ve been working with … More »

Premature Evaluation: Beyoncé & JAY-Z Everything Is Love

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Beyonce-and-Jay-Z-Everything-Is-LoveThe best part of the trilogy is never the ending. For the past few years, the most famous and beloved couple in the recent history of American popular music have been telling us a story, and it’s been a riveting one. Two years ago, Beyoncé gave us Lemonade, an album of starting depth and … More »

The Carters’ ‘Everything is Love’ is now available on Spotify & Apple Music

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The Carters’ collaborative album, Everything is Love, made its debut on TIDAL on June 16, but now, Spotify Premium and Apple Music subscribers can join the ranks of TIDAL streamers as the joint offering makes its way to both music streaming platforms.

Everything is Love can be expected to become available to listeners of Spotify’s ad supported free tier in just two-weeks.

H/T: Consequence of Sound

Hear Migos’ Demo For Beyoncé & Jay-Z’s “Apeshit”

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Migos“Apeshit” is the lead single from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s new collaborative album Everything Is Love, or at least the first track to get a music video. Migos members Quavo and Offset can be heard ad-libbing in the background, and both rappers are credited as co-writers on the Pharrell-produced track. As it turns out, their … More »

Beyoncé & JAY-Z’s Album Is Now On Spotify & Apple Music

This post was originally published on this site

Beyonce-and-Jay-ZThere’s an already-famous moment on Everything Is Love, the collaborative album that Beyoncé and Jay-Z surprise-released over the weekend, where Beyoncé growls a few words about her streaming-service decisions: “If I gave two fucks, two fucks about streaming numbers, would have put Lemonade up on Spotify.” … More »

The Carters release their debut album, ‘Everything Is Love’

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The Carters album

Beyoncé and JAY-Z finally released their collaborative album under their new alias, The Carters, titled Everything Is Love. The full album is available on Tidal, while a number of singles are on YouTube. JAY mentioned the two were working together when producing 4:44 and Lemonade. He told the The New York Times him and his wife use music as therapy, and from the sound of the new album, therapy is working.

The power couple also released two music videos for “APESHIT” and SALUD!” The former was directed by Ricky Saiz and shot at the Louvre in Paris; the latter is co-produced by Cool & Dre and exclusively on Tidal.

Some standout lines on “APESHIT” include Queen B bringing the hype with “Gimme my check//Put some respect on my check//Or pay me in equity//Watch me reverse out of debt.” Or when Hova concludes his first verse with “Tell the Grammy’s fuck that 0 for 8 shit//Have you ever seen the crowd goin’ apeshit?” Alluding to getting shut out at this year’s Grammys. Migos and Pharrell are also on the track, further certifying its heat.

Throughout the album, a blend of old-school hip-hop and new school trap tropes combine with soul, blues, gospel, jazz, and other acoustically treated music. Beyoncé’s masterful vocal arrangements along with dynamic voice distortions and Jay’s contrasted voice, flow effortlessly together.

The dynamic duo calls reference to the Super Bowl, Spotify, Meek Mills with odes to Dr. Dre and The Notorious B.I.G. There’s some dialogue between the two on “LOVEHAPPY,” vulnerably expressing some tension in their relationship. They seem like they’re collectively confident on most of the album, giving zero cares about any other noise around them. Turn up the bass on “HEARD ABOUT US,” “BLACK EFFECT,” and “BOSS.”

They slow it down on the intro track, “Summer,” with a downtempo, love vibe. Bee’s soulful, soft voice glides along acoustic elements with jazzy fills for extra color. Jay’s contrast with his wife’s voice is just as natural as their personal connection.

Everything Is Love is everything fans love about these icons. They’re currently on their co-headlining On The Run II tour. The last time the two of them toured together was On The Run in 2014.

 

Photo Credit: @beyonce/Instagram

Beyoncé and Jay Z Release New Album The Carters ‘Everything Is Love’, Watch the New Video Now

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JAY-Z and Beyoncé have released a brand new, collaborative album called Everything Is Love. Stream it here and below via Tidal. The Carters – Everything is Love The album credits the pair as “The Carters”, and along with this full album drop we’ve got a brand new video to look at, too. And it’s bonkers […]

The post Beyoncé and Jay Z Release New Album The Carters ‘Everything Is Love’, Watch the New Video Now appeared first on LIVE music blog.

Beyoncé and JAY-Z surprise release album Everything Is Love as The Carters

This post was originally published on this site

LOOK OUT. Beyoncé has surprise-released a new album. The record is a collaboration with rapper JAY-Z, who most famously appeared on Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” and who has been spotted fathering her three kids. Other stuff: The album is titled Everything Is Love. The music is credited to The Carters. There’s a video below for “APESHIT.” Migos are on the album.

Kanye West is not on the album, as far as we know.

Beyoncé and JAY-Z surprise release album Everything Is Love as The Carters

This post was originally published on this site

LOOK OUT. Beyoncé has surprise-released a new album. The record is a collaboration with rapper JAY-Z, who most famously appeared on Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” and who has been spotted fathering her three kids. Other stuff: The album is titled Everything Is Love. The music is credited to The Carters. There’s a video below for “APESHIT.” Migos are on the album.

Kanye West is not on the album, as far as we know.