Beyoncé & JAY-Z's New Album Tackles Infidelity, Love Child Allegations & More: The Most Revealing Lyrics
The nine-track LP — which the couple announced at their On the Run Tour II in London on Saturday, making the audience and Twitter go wild — finds the couple opening up about everything from love child allegations (spoiler alert: JAY-Z says the allegations are false) to his cheating scandal.
“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,” Bey sings on the album closer, “LOVEHAPPY.”
And there’s a whole lot more on the project to dissect. Read on for a track-by-track breakdown of the album’s most revealing lyrics, and listen to the songs on JAY-Z’s music service Tidal, where the record is streaming exclusively.
With their marriage seemingly stronger than ever, the couple fittingly kick off their surprise joint album with a sexy love song. “I wanna drown in the depth of you / The water’s so blue, so blue / I need to take my time / Show you something real, so real / I want you to come inside right now,” sings Beyoncé on the chorus.
The rapper also muses on how far the couple’s come since his “nights in the projects.” Referencing their reportedly $88 million home in Los Angeles, JAY-Z raps: “In Bel-Air only the nights get cold / I wrapped a yellow jacket around me / It’s not lost on me, music has my kids sound asleep.”
JAY-Z drops a bunch of tea in “Apes—,” and fans are here for it. Last fall, rumors swirled the rapper had turned down an offer to perform at the Super Bowl LII halftime show — turns out, the reports were true. “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,” he raps.
He also claps back at the Grammys, for which he racked up a total of eight nominations earlier this year but failed to snag any wins. “Tell the Grammys f— that 0 for 8 s— / Have you ever seen the crowd going’ apes—?”
Earlier this year, JAY-Z topped Forbes’ list of richest hip-hop stars — and the couple aren’t afraid to embrace their success. “My great, great, grandchildren already rich / That’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list,” sings Beyoncé after her husband raps about their “hundred million crib.”
The singer also gives daughter Blue Ivy a shout-out in the track, singing, “Droppin’ my daughter off at school every morning / We slammin’ car doors.”
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Here, Beyoncé and JAY-Z seem to unapologetically address their haters. The song begins with a chorus that appears to act as a kind of dialogue between The Carters and those who doubt them, as a repeated line — “I can do anything, yeah / Hell nah, hell nah, hell nah, hell nah” — is an integral part of the track.
In his opening verse, JAY-Z raps about how “after all these years” he has “no fear of anything,” including jail and death. In her verse, Bey literally says “f— you” to anyone who’s been “patiently waiting for my demise.”
Towards the end of the song, she also appears to specifically address her past relationship difficulties with her husband, and how despite what people may have thought, they were able to work through the pain to “shine like a new feather” and are now “feeling like the best year ever,” of which she says, “Damn, it’s nice.”
Beyoncé and JAY-Z seemingly reference their own love story in “713,” a song title that also references the area code for the singer’s hometown of Houston, Texas. And as the song opens, Beyoncé mentions their joint album’s title, singing, “Ain’t no way to stop this love / Ain’t no space if everything is love.”
Meanwhile, through his verses, the rapper seemingly detailed their early courtship. “We played it cool at the pool at Cancun VMA / Confidence you exude makes the fools stay away / Me, I played my room, let the fools have they say / Fate had me sitting next to you on the plane / And I knew straight away,” he raps.
The song also appears to deliberately reference Dr. Dre’s and Snoop Dogg’s song “Still D.R.E.” In “713,” Beyoncé lightly updates the lyrics to the classic 2001 song, saying, “Representing for my hustlers all around the world (still) / Still dippin’ in my low-lows, girl (still) / I put it down for the 713 / And we still got love for the streets (ow!).”
In “FRIENDS” the Carters, muse on the value of loyal friendships, with Beyoncé singing, “I don’t know what I would do without all of my crew, yeah / I ain’t making no room, yeah / I ain’t making no new friends.”
She also mused about how her “real friends” are better than your friends,” while JAY-Z later spoke out against fake friends who seem to switch their alliances “every week.”
But perhaps the biggest bombshell came when JAY-Z explained why he didn’t go to Kanye West’s 2014 wedding to Kim Kardashian. The no-show drove a wedge between the hip hop friends, but Hova explained that he was too preoccupied dealing with problems in his own marriage to attend.
“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–ga, I ain’t leavin’,” he rapped on the track “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.”
7. “HEARD ABOUT US”
In “HEARD ABOUT US,” JAY-Z seemingly addresses his alleged “love child,” 23-year-old Rymir Satterthwaite. “For the thousandth time the kid ain’t mine / Online they call me Dad kiddingly / You’re not supposed to take this dad thing literally.”
He also muses about fame — both its downfalls and its perks, raping, “Every day I’m getting sued famous / I show up to court without a suit famous / Shit has its perks too, ain’t it? / Shooting videos in the Louvre aint’ it / It could be far worse for you, ain’t it? / Pain comes with penthouse views, ain’t it?”
Plus, Queen Bey weighs in about the haters: “No need to ask you heard about us / Watch your mouth when you around us.”
8. “BLACK EFFECT”
Both JAY-Z and Beyoncé were outspoken advocates for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen who was shot and killed by a security guard in 2013. (The rapper’s documentary on the subject premieres in July on the Paramount Network).
In “BLACK EFFECT,” JAY-Z raps about “false arrests” and also name-drops Martin. “Get your hands up high like a false arrest / Let me see ’em up high, this is not a test / Put ’em up, this is not a test / Now hands where I can see ’em / F— a false arrest.”
In an extensive interview with T: The New York Times Style Magazine last November, JAY-Z admitted that he had cheated on Beyoncé and opened up about therapy. Beyoncé addresses the past relationship drama on “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.”
And rest assured the Bey and Jay’s marriage appears to be stronger than ever. “Sometimes I thought we’d never see the light / Went through hell with heaven on our side,” the song goes. The couple also reveals their hopes for a lifelong union: “Pray for the vows.”