NEW YORK — Jay-Z and Beyonce late Saturday released Everything is Love, a surprise album after years of speculation that they were working on a joint project.
The album — which came two years after Beyonce revealed Jay-Z’s infidelity through lyrics — again offers plenty of tidbits into the lives of music’s most famous couple.
Here are some highlights:
• No love child — Jay-Z shot down rumors that he has an illegitimate child. Aspiring rapper Rymir Satterthwaite has alleged for years that he is the superstar’s son due to his mother’s purported fling with the then little-known Shawn Carter in 1992.
“Billie Jean in his prime / For the thousandth time / The kid ain’t mine,” Jay-Z raps on “Heard About Us,” referencing Michael Jackson’s classic song about a paternity case.
Jay-Z and Beyonce’s six-year-old daughter Blue Ivy separately makes an appearance on the album and says “hello” to her twin siblings Rumi and Sir, who turned one on Thursday.
• Recovered from infidelity — Everything is Love, as the title implies, speaks much about the strength of their marriage after highly public troubles.
Beyonce on her 2016 album Lemonade revealed infidelity by Jay-Z, who apologized a year later on his own album 4:44.
On the joint album’s boisterous closer “Lovehappy,” the two say that they have patched up.
“You did some things to me / You do some things to me,” Beyonce sings with brass in her voice. “But love is deeper than your pain and I believe you can change.”
• Angry at legal action — Jay-Z vents frustration several times on the album about legal action against him. Most recently the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the rapper to testify as part of an investigation into his sale of his Rocawear clothing line.
On “Nice,” Jay-Z denounces the subpoena and suggests he is being targeted because he is a successful African American, wondering why he did not face such scrutiny in his earlier life as a Brooklyn drug dealer.
“Time to remind me I’m black again, huh? / All this talking back. I’m too arrogant, huh?”
Later on the album he professes his innocence in disputes with authorities — so often known by their agencies’ acronyms — as he raps: “I pass the alphabet boys like an eye test.”
• No to Super Bowl — Jay-Z appeared to confirm a report that he turned down an offer from the National Football League to perform at this year’s Super Bowl, the most watched event on US television.
Jay-Z is an outspoken supporter of Colin Kaepernick, the now-unemployed quarterback who stirred a nationwide discussion by kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
He alludes to the racial imbalance in American football, where team owners are almost entirely white and players mostly African American.
“I said no to the Super Bowl / You need me, I don’t need you,” Jay-Z raps.
“Every night we in the end zone / Tell the NFL we in stadiums, too.” — AFP