Sometimes a person's silence can speak volumes, but, if you're Jay Z and your wife, Beyoncé, has just released an album that fans take as a treatise on your troublesome love life, then your silence tends to indicate that you may well be working on a big response instead. We've all been eagerly awaiting some kind of a response from Jay Z about Beyoncé's Lemonade since its release, and admittedly, many of us made the assumption that such a statement would be in the form of a Lemonade response album by Jay Z, as some sources claimed. The first response that we've actually received from the rapper is a little anti-climactic to say the least. But is it a sign of more responses to come?
Providing a guest verse on the remix to Fat Joe and Remy Ma's "All The Way Up" (which was released exclusively via Tidal in the early hours of Wednesday morning), Jay Z lays down a scarcity of lines and makes what can only be described as a shrug of a reference to his wife's ground breaking visual album:
You know you made it when the fact
Your marriage made it is worth millions
Lemonade is a popular drink and it still is
Survival of the littest
You can't see me but please imagine that I'm rolling my eyes so hard right now. Jay Z's response feels minimal; it's the equivalent of trying to get answers out of someone and having them sit in front you, comfortable as anything, their hands in pockets while smirking at you when they should be talking. But this is the Beyoncé and Jay Z we're talking about, and the Claire and Frank Underwood of music don't make minimal statements on massive events without it leading up to something huge. And there are certainly enough rumors going around that this could be the case.
On Tuesday, some unconfirmed reports made by Page Six seemed to claim that Jay Z and Beyoncé could be collaborating on a new album together with information allegedly obtained from unnamed sources indicating that the power couple are choosing to "address all the questions that came up after Lemonade ... through music." Should this actually be true, then it would be a gigantic release for both of the musicians and also the perfect way to respond to an album which appeared to vulnerably expose alleged problems within their marriage. After all, what could show more of a united front between two married musical artists than a musical collaboration?
It would also give both Beyoncé and Jay Z the opportunity to control and develop a musical narrative which could give them both the chance to respond to such issues at once and in a way which gives them both agency over their versions of the alleged events. The most popular idea for a long time has simply been that Jay Z has been working on a rebuttal album to Lemonade, which, though understandable, seems a little off-brand for the couple. Creating an album that's solely dedicated to responding to the cheating allegations that Lemonade may have raised against him would feel like a slightly aggressive way of dealing with the issues that might be at hand. After all, Beyoncé's Lemonade is not just about cheating; its power is truly drawn from highlighting issues of race, femininity, and empowerment. As a result, it would feel pretty petty for Jay Z to release an album purely in retaliation the parts of Lemonade that the tabloid media are so fixated on.
As a business man and an artist, he's smarter than that, and so is Beyoncé. Both of them know that a real response, one worthy of their relationship, talents and hard work is one which aims to unite them as a couple, not to pit them as enemies slinging musical mud at each other. So it seems fitting that the "response" which Jay Z has included on the remix to "All The Way Up" is as vague and unsatisfying as it is; he's clearly got bigger things to say on the matter and there's a good possibility that those brief Lemonade referencing lines were merely a teaser for a bigger piece of music that can really answer everyone's questions to him.
Whether that piece of music is in the form of a single, a solo album, or a joint album with Beyoncé is anyone's guess at this moment in time. But, when it comes, then that'll truly be a response worth celebrating.
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