Beyoncé and Jay-Z: The State of the Union Is Strong – The New York Times

This is more familiar, less vulnerable and less exploratory district than the zones where Beyoncé and Jay-Z ventured on “ Lemonade ” and “ 4:44. ” Neither is alone now ; they have each other ’ mho definitive defend, despite a few argumentative moments. Their musical impulses converge, excessively, with Beyoncé frequently rapping angstrom well as singing. As they have done earlier, they toss around lavishness brand names and cite the facts of their prosperity : houses, cars, couturier clothes, excessive watches. In “ 713 ” ( a Houston area code ) and other songs, they insist they ’ re still connected to the places they grew up, so far they don ’ thyroxine guess to be anything other than rich and celebrated : “ No motivation to ask, you heard about us/Already know you know about us, ” Beyoncé sings in “ Heard About Us ” ; soon, Jay-Z adds another system of measurement, noting that he is “ every-day-I ’ m-getting-sued famous. ” In “ Salud !, ” they toast their own affluence with Champagne and enumerate their houses while laughing off adverse comments.

The television for “ Apes**t ” was made in the Louvre, including the Carters ’ own selfies in front of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo ; the placement is one more prize for Jay-Z to boast about in “ Heard About Us. ” But with the Carters and a dance company taking over the Louvre ’ s palatial spaces, the television besides places an unapologetic, physical black presence in a bastion of european culture.

And that has become part of Beyoncé ’ south and Jay-Z ’ south shared stick out : to remember, amid their incontestable even anomalous success, how a lot has been denied to others by systemic racism. The chorus of “ Nice, ” sing by its co-producer Pharrell Williams, is “ I can do anything, ” but the birdcall pour on sarcasm in a track fully of edgy, devious polytonal chords. Jay-Z raps about getting a subpoena while on tour, snickering that he ’ second getting dragged into motor hotel now after “ years of drug trafficking ” in his youth : “ Time to remind me I ’ thousand black again, huh ? ”

Wealth coevals is the best retaliation. In “ Boss, ” Beyoncé reaches down to a low-register howl to sing, “ My great-great-grandchildren already rich/That ’ s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list. ” Cultural memory has a set, besides : The song ’ s finale features a riffing horn section like the brass bands Beyoncé deploy for her remarkable performance this year at Coachella, which celebrated the march bands and drumlines of historically black colleges and universities. Conscious of hip-hop history, in “ 713 ” Beyoncé ’ s chorus harks back to lines from “ still D.R.E., ” a song Jay-Z helped write for Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre : “ We still got love for the streets, ” she declares. And in “ Black Effect, ” Jay-Z promises, “ I ’ molarity good on any M.L.K. Boulevard. ”

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Category : music

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