JAY-Z and Beyoncé, America’s biggest power couple behind Trump and Putin, recently released EVERYTHING IS LOVE. To the naked eye, their collaborative album simply seems like a conclusion to the trilogy that began with Beyoncé’s Lemonade and continued with JAY-Z's 4:44. But it’s much more complicated and sinister than that.
EVERYTHING IS LOVE is also a concept album. The concept? All of my failed relationships.
After multiple listens, I’ve come to learn that every track on EVERYTHING IS LOVE is a subtle diss directed at me. When you read between the lines, this “album” is nothing but a petty, thinly veiled attack on my integrity as a man.
This was a low blow from The Carters. Two of the greatest musicians of this era decided to put all their time and talent into a 38-minute assault on my pride, rubbing their healthy relationship in my face, while mercilessly mocking me about past flames. Jay used to be one of my favorite artists, but now I don’t even want Watch the Throne II anymore. This is the most heinous thing Jay has done since his verse on "Monster."
Much like how Solange attacked Jay in the elevator on that fateful day in 2014, Jay and Beyoncé have together attacked me in the elevator that is my soul.
Now that the dust has settled with the Drake/Pusha-T fiasco, there’s a new rap beef about to hijack the spotlight: JAY-Z and Beyoncé vs. Drew Landry.
Let’s break it down.
The ex: Emily Krabtree, second grade
Emily Krabtree was my first girlfriend, and our relationship lasted 22 minutes. It was the last day of the second grade before summer started. One minute we were holding hands on the playground, and the next I caught her holding hands with Matthew Anderson, arguably the most popular fifth grader at Whittier Elementary.
In her opening verse, Beyoncé sings, “You’d rather play the game than to throw the fight,” which refers to how I wanted to fight Matthew, but he was simply too big so I decided instead to play a game of hide-and-go-seek. In the second verse, Jay, ever the technician, raps, "We tried to hide in the hills.”
The ex: Jillian Goldfarb, sixth grade
This catchy earworm begins with Queen B chanting, “Gimme the ball,” which refers to how I met Jillian—while playing kickball in gym class. We dated for three-and-a-half weeks, but she dumped me during a field trip to the zoo, which then explains the Jay line "Finna pull up to the zoo,” and the various references to apes and kangaroos.
Yes, they immaturely named the song "APESHIT" because she dumped me when I laughed at an unfortunate incident involving monkey feces being tossed. I think Bey and Jay should have picked a less juvenile song title, but I guess if they were mature they wouldn't have made this album in the first place.
The ex: Lyla Grey, 10th grade
At the time, I was working at Dairy Queen and my girlfriend Lyla’s older brother was my boss. I tried to use this connection to get Lyla to force her brother to give me a promotion. Not only did this end the relationship, but it also ended my time as a Dairy Queen employee.
Jay recites the words “no cap” at the beginning of his verse because I refused to wear the Dairy Queen hat as part of my uniform (it was fucking up my gorgeous hair). He also spits the bar “Pride always goeth before the fall.” My pride, and my arrogant quest for a Dairy Queen promotion, ultimately lead to my downfall.
The ex: Meredith Dinkleberg, 12th grade
Dinkleberg was a nice girl, which I completely took advantage of. Pharrell’s hook repeats the words “I can do anything,” the mindset of an inconsiderate boyfriend. I once put my weed in her purse before the prom without telling her, which is why Jay raps, “After all these years of drug trafficking.”
Meredith ultimately got in trouble when that weed was discovered, and Pharrell’s chorus directly quotes what I said to the principal when he asked if the weed was mine: “Hell nah, hell nah, hell nah.”
Those drug charges will always be attached to her name, but that’s nothing compared to the permanent pain that EVERYTHING IS LOVE has already inflicted.
The ex: Sherri Furberger, freshmen year of college
In the chorus, Beyoncé belts out, “Ain’t no way to stop this love.” That’s what I thought Sherri and I had. That is, until Jay utters, “[That was] my first foolish mistake.”
People think the title "713" is a reference to Houston’s zip code (Beyoncé’s hometown), but that’s a misconception. If you add the numbers seven, one, and three, you get 11. But when you add seven and 13, you get 20. Now, when you combine 11 and 20, you get 31. Thirty-one backward is 13. November is the 11th month of the year, and she dumped on November 13 (11/13).
The ex: Annie Jensen, sophomore year of college
Annie was cool, but we broke up because I could no longer tolerate her unhealthy obsession with the TV show Friends. She wanted me to watch it with her, but if I wanted to watch a bunch of attractive-yet-obnoxious white people hang out at a coffeehouse and complain about problems that don’t matter, I'd go to any actual coffeehouse.
She’d constantly say, “We’re just like Rachel and Ross,” much to my discontent. I eventually told her we could no longer date, and she said: “That is such a Chandler thing to say.” This is a reference I don’t understand and don’t intend to ever understand. But I told her we could still be friends.
7. "HEARD ABOUT US"
The ex: Jannette Rayson, junior year of college
Jannette had a boyfriend named Ronald, and I was her sidepiece. Ronald heard about us and he smashed the windows of my car with a baseball bat (“Louis slugger to your four door.”)
After Ronald dumped her, Jannette tried to make things official with me by threatening a fabricated pregnancy scare. In response, I told her exactly what Hov declares in the song's second verse: “For the thousandth time, that baby ain’t mine.” Turns out, the pregnancy was real, which is why I abruptly moved from Baltimore to Los Angeles and never looked back.
I don’t know how Jay and Beyoncé even obtained this information. I’m assuming they got it from Ronald.
Fuck you, Ronald.
8. "BLACK EFFECT"
The ex: I forget her name, senior year of college
My girlfriend and I were watching Chris Rock on Netflix. The chorus of "BLACK EFFECT" contains the lyrics “I’m good on any MLK Boulevard.” In his first HBO special, Rock tells a classic joke about how any street with Martin Luther King Jr. in its name has “some violence going down.” A great bit, but a damning coincidence.
When I came back from a bathroom break, I found her going through my phone. Immediately, she put her hand behind her back, which prompted me to ask her to show her hands. An eerily similar request is found on the song's hook (“Hands up high this is not a test”).
As the story goes, we met on Tinder and she saw that her name was still “Tinder Girl” on my phone, and so she stormed out. We had been dating for three months at that point. I was afraid to ask.
Still, I think she overreacted.
The ex: Danielle Plinkerton, this past Sunday
Beyoncé’s bittersweet line “Boy you did some things to me” sums up how Danielle feels about me now despite my passionate pleas for forgiveness, which Jay seemingly quotes at the very beginning with “Please forgive me...”
She dumped me yesterday when she found out I was writing this article.
And they had the nerve to call this album EVERYTHING IS LOVE?
No, not everything is love. Not anymore.