6 best references from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Everything is Love album


Beyoncé and Jay-Z celebrate love, flip off haters, and become more open and “real” than ever before in their new album, Everything is Love.

The King and Queen of hip-hop have stepped out to remind us exactly why they reign, dropping a surprise album, Everything is Love, on June 16. With just nine tracks, this album completes the stories told in Bey’s Lemonade and Jay’s 4:44.

The album moves away from angry versus of infidelity or sorrowful lines filled with apology, this time celebrating love, life and “livin’ lavish, lavish“. The music video for the first track “APES–T” alone is filled with a plethora of references, both lyrical and visual. We break down those, plus other references (and a few disses) made throughout Everything is Love.

Drake beef

On “Boss,” the couple reflect on their fame and success. Throughout this track, Jay-Z throws shade towards Drake, who chose to sign a $19 million deal with Apple versus coming onto TIDAL. Near the start, Jay hits Drake with a simple:

"No cap / No false n— / You not a boss / You got a boss."

While Hova is his own boss in many ways, Drake is a signee to Lil Wayne’s label, Young Money. Jay then goes in on Drake and Pusha-T’s beef — creating a beef within a beef, if you can believe that — by bringing up how Drake sent Pusha an invoice. Jay smoothly raps:

"Everybody’s bosses ‘til it’s time to pay for the office / To them invoices, separate the men from the boys, over here."

Jay vs. Kanye

Jay didn’t stop with Drake, moving onto Kanye West on “Friends.” During the track, Jay mentions a bunch of those close in his crew, from cousin Emory Jones to his childhood BFF Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith. However, he does not mention Kanye — at least among those he considers his friend.

He brings him up, instead, by rehashing the fact Kanye was upset that Jay-Z and Beyoncé didn’t attend his wedding to reality star Kim Kardashian. Jay reminds us that since he was going through his own marital issues with his wife, he was more focused on fixing that than going to a wedding and say, faking they were happy. If Kanye couldn’t understand that, well these lyrics made it pretty clear how Jay feels about it:

"I ain’t goin’ to nobody nothin’ when me and my wife beefin’ / I don’t care if the house on fire, I’m dyin’, n— I ain’t leavin’ / Ty-Ty take care of my kids, after he done grievin’ / If y’all don’t understand that, we ain’t meant to be friends."

Then, Jay vs. the Jenners

Did you think Jay was done once he took a hit on Kanye? Nope. During “Friends,” he looks to the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner fam, Kendall and Kylie.

Remember when these two thought it’d be a smart idea to put Biggie and Tupac on some t-shirts (with their selfies on top, because, of course)? The two were called out by Voletta Wallace, mother to Biggie, saying the creation of these shirts was “disrespectful.” Jay was a friend of Biggie and is still in touch with Voletta, so yea, he had something to say about this:

"Y’all put n— on a t-shirt / it hurts you ain’t never meet ‘em."

A tribute to Colin Kaepernick

On “Apes–t,” Jay talks about the Super Bowl and how he doesn’t need to perform during the major sporting event; really, it is the event who needs him. Jay tells us:

"I said no to the Super Bowl: you need me, I don’t need you/Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too."

The corresponding video also nods to Colin Kaepernick and the ongoing controversy with kneeling during the national anthem. At the 3:36 mark, we see young black men on their knees in front of the Louvre’s pyramids.

Spotify streams

Looks like Bey is finally clearing up why Lemonade wasn’t on Spotify, instead exclusively released through TIDAL. Fans either had to become paying members for TIDAL, or wait to listen to Bey’s album and watch the memorable videos. On “Nice,” Beyoncé dismisses the need for streaming numbers, saying:

"If I gave two f—s about streaming numbers / Would have put Lemonade up on Spotify / F— you, f— you, you’re cool, f— you, I’m out."

Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s relationship

Throughout the album, Bey and Jay-Z reflect on the highs and lows of their relationship. This all comes together in the final track, “Lovehappy.” The two let it all out about the problems they experienced (*cough* Jay’s infidelity *cough*).

Bey raps lightheartedly, but still seriously:

"Yeah, you f–ked up the first stone, we had to get remarried."

She then refers to all of us listening, saying:

"We keepin’ it real with these people, right? Lucky I ain’t kill you when I met that b."

It almost feels as if we’re sitting in a room with the two as they hash out the lessons they learned from the heartbreak they experienced. Jay adds:

"Y’all know how I met her, we broke up and got back together / To get her back, I had to sweat her."

Bey expresses how despite the chaos and hardship, these two are perfect for each other and truly “Lovehappy.”

"You did some things to me, boy, you do some things to me / 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’ll work it / We’re flawed but we’re still perfect for each other."

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You can listen to Everything is Love by signing up for a paid TIDAL subscription. The album is also streaming on Apple Music and Spotify now through July 2.