Beyonce and Jay-Z drew lots of praise this week as fans celebrated the release of “Everything is Love,” a surprise joint album chronicling the superstar couple’s marital struggles and their journey back to being “happy in love,” as noted on the album’s closing track.
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The duo, known collectively as The Carters, shocked the world with the album’s release last Saturday, delivering nine deeply-personal tracks where they appear to lift the veil on their marriage and offer fans a raw look into their personal lives.
Featuring titles like “Boss” and “Heard About Us,” the album is loaded with boisterous references to the couple’s collective wealth and power but it also contains a fair share of messages about they manage to live their best lives no matter what.
Here are seven life lessons discussed on “Everything is Love”:
Wealth is worthless if you can’t share it
Beyonce, 36, and Jay-Z, 48, are known for bragging about their luxurious lifestyle on tracks, but having everything they “prayed for” doesn’t mean anything if they can’t share it with the people they love, according to the hip-hop duo.
“All of my people, I free them all. Hop in the whip, wanna see the stars,” Beyonce raps on the album’s second track.
“We measure success by how many people successful next to you. Here we say you broke if everybody gets broke except for you,” Jay-Z notes on “Boss.”
Beyonce and Jay-Z can do anything, and so can you
The album’s fourth track, “Nice,” is a testament to how they managed to succeed even when the odds were stacked against them.
“Anybody ever had an era / When things could’ve been better / Feeling like you was on a stretcher / And all you remember was the hecklers,” Pharrell, the only artist featured on the album, raps on “Nice.” “But the Universe lifts that weight / Then you shine like a new feather / Blessings on blessings, et cetera / Feeling like the best year ever.”
“Give me my check, put some respect on my check or pay me in equity. Watch me reverse [out of debt],” Beyonce notes on track two, reminding listeners to know their worth.
The singer, who penned an op-ed calling for equal pay in 2014, makes multiple references to the topic throughout the album, as does Jay-Z.
“I said no to the Super Bowl,” Jay-Z said on “Boss,” before adding, “You need me, I don’t need you. Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too.”
Appreciate your friends
The Carters aren’t looking for any new friends but they really do appreciate the ones they have, according to their lyrics.
The couple made that clear on “Friends,” where they thank their respective crews for supporting them.
“I don’t know what I would do without all of my crew, yeah. I ain’t makin’ no room, yeah, I ain’t makin’ no new friends. I don’t make no moves, yeah, without tellin’ my crew, yeah. That just how we do, yeah,” Beyonce sings in the song’s opening verse.
The singer, known for leading a notoriously private life, makes it known that she definitely has a group of core friends who help keep her in check. The song is all about purging toxic people from your life and maintaining a tight circle of people who want to see you succeed.
“They pray and pray for me, they pray and pray for me. See better things for me. Want better days for me unselfishly,” Beyonce sings.
It’s important to forgive
Beyonce and Jay-Z opened up about their marital struggles and Jay’s infidelity on their most-recent solo projects, “Lemonade” in 2016 and “4:44” in 2017.
“Everything is Love” appears to pick up where those albums left off.
“But love is deeper than your pain and I believe you can change. Baby the ups and downs are worth it, long way to go, but we’re working. We’re flawed but we’re still perfect for each other,” Beyonce sings on last verse of the album’s final track.
Forgiveness is an overarching theme on the album and they make it known that they intend to fight for their love.
Create generational wealth
Everyone knows that Beyonce and Jay-Z are all about their business. But they’re also focused on creating wealth that will last for generations to come, according to the album.
“I let my wife write the will. I pray my children outlive me. I give my daughter my custom dresses, so she gon’ be litty. Vintage pieces by the time she hit the city, yeah-ah,” the couple say on “Lovehappy.”
On “Boss” Beyonce raps: “My great-great-grandchildren already rich, that’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list. Probably looking around my compound on my fortress.” B
You can overcome anything
“Everything is Love” is a celebration of the couple’s happiness, but it’s also a representation of all the things The Carters had to overcome to become successful.
“Sometimes I thought we’d never see the light. Went through hell with heaven on our side. This beach ain’t always been no paradise, but nightmares only last one night,” Beyonce coos on “Lovehappy.”
The couple’s spirit of resilience echoes throughout the album in songs like “Boss,” where Jay talks about some of the struggles he had to overcome as a black man.
“What would you do, you knew you couldn’t fail? I have no fear of anything, do everything well. I have no fear of jail, I was born in the trap. I have no fear of death, we all born to do that,” he raps.