Husband and wife Jay-Z and Beyoncé recently dropped a surprise album called “Everything Is Love” — and while the fact that they made new music is unexpected, the content of their music is anything but.
The celeb power couple, known in addition to their music for their A-list marriage and friendship with former President Barack Obama, did not disappoint their fans when it came to leftist rhetoric.
Their album certainly hits on their marriage, but would it really be complete these days without political preaching?
In the song “Apes***,” Jay-Z touches on the debates over the NFL’s policy on kneeling during the national anthem. He says, “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’s referring to the fact that he reportedly turned down the opportunity to perform at Super Bowl 52. That was in contrast to a decision by his wife, who used the Super Bowl as a platform for her political stunt to honor the militant Black Panthers.
In “Black Effect,” Jay-Z repeats the controversial narrative that police officers are out to get black people by saying, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest. Let me see ’em up high, this is not a test. Yes, put ’em up, this is not a test. Now hands where I can see them, f*** a false arrest.”
Despite evidence to the contrary, it is apparent this narrative is not going away anytime soon. By repeating it, Jay-Z is not helping the African-American community one bit; rather, he may be causing a strain between some of his listeners and their local law enforcement.
Of course, this new album wouldn’t be complete without referencing President Donald Trump in a negative tone.
It’s in the “bonus track” called “Salud!” (the Spanish word for health) where the Trump reference is dropped. Jay-Z says, “Your president tweeting about Hov like he knows us. My road to the top was to take what you owe us. I give a f*** what that man find vulgar. Just look in my eyes when you toast us.”
There is a lot to unpack in these few vulgarity-laced lines.
For some reason, Jay-Z’s nickname is “Hov” (even though Jay-Z would also be his nickname, as his real name is Shawn Carter) — and he’s referring to this tweet from the president:
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
Trump tweeted that message in response to Jay-Z’s late January interview with CNN’s Van Jones. The host asked Jay-Z if the lowest African-American unemployment rate in history made Trump a good leader — to which the rapper responded, “No, because it’s not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn’t equate to happiness. It doesn’t. That’s missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings. That’s the main point. It goes back to the whole thing: ‘Treat me really bad and pay me well.’ It’s not going to lead to happiness, it’s going to lead to, again, the same thing. Everyone’s going to be sick.”
Sure, Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s political album is mild in comparison to Snoop Dogg’s album cover showing Trump in a morgue — or Eminem’s Trump diss track, which aired on BET last year; but it’s still further proof of how polarizing popular culture is today, as elitist celebrities move further and further to the left.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.