OK, so, Becky with the good hair? We still can't put a face to the name. But Beyoncé and JAY-Z did give fans some insights as to how they're faring in the aftermath of that infamous alleged cheating scandal with their new joint album, Everything Is Love, which the couple released unexpectedly, Saturday, June 17, on Tidal. For those who haven't yet found closure on the reported infidelity issue, it's probably worth taking a few minutes to break down the JAY-Z cheating references in Everything Is Love. Now, in classic Carter family fashion, the album is chock-full of lyrics that seem to bear some pretty obvious real-life connotations. Among them, of course, are those references to the current state of Beyoncé and JAY-Z's personal relationship. Which, from the looks of it, seems stronger than ever.
As far as the album's actual lyrical content is concerned, Beyoncé and JAY-Z don't spend a ton of time rehashing the alleged infidelity drama that temporarily marred their relationship (and the public's perception of it, too) in years past. That shouldn't come as a total shock, especially given its title — Everything Is Love — which, in and of itself, seems to suggest the couple isn't holding onto any lasting grudges. And while the album might only make a handful of explicit references to her husband's alleged cheating and how they've managed to grapple with it, Beyoncé and JAY-Z still manage to make one truth crystal-clear on Everything Is Love: The last couple of years might've been tough, but the powerhouse couple is back; and if their searing new record is any indication, it seems pretty safe to say they're back with a vengeance.
"No need to ask, you heard about us/Watch your mouth when you around us," Beyoncé warns audiences during the album's seventh track, "Heard About Us," which seems to address the rumors about JAY-Z's alleged love child. The 48-year-old rapper sets the record straight on that issue, too. "For the thousandth time, the kid ain't mine," he raps a bit earlier on in the song.
Fans of the joint lyrical masterminds know that vengeance and retribution — in broad strokes, at least — have been pretty central themes in their respective music-making ventures these last couple of years. First there was Lemonade, Beyoncé's 2016 visual album, whose empowering track "Sorry" initially blew the lid off the whole Becky situation in the first place. "He only want me when I'm not there/He better call Becky with the good hair," she crooned, eliciting furious bouts of upset from folks on the internet who couldn't understand what in the world could possibly compel someone to cheat on Beyoncé. Fans never really got an answer to that particular question, though JAY-Z did issue a public "I'm sorry" of sorts the following year with the release of his similarly chart-topping 2017 album, 4:44.
In Everything Is Love, vengeance looks comparatively less like calling out a wrongdoing and more like solidifying a partnership. "I can't believe we made it/This is what we're thankful for," the pair sings triumphantly during the album's opening track, "Summer," ostensibly referencing the trials and tribulations their relationship has endured over the last several years. And while much of the new album feels like a celebratory testament to the strength of their relationship, Beyoncé and JAY-Z don't actually get down to the nitty-gritty until the album's final track, aptly titled, "Love Happy." So, for those fans wondering how the couple survived JAY-Z's alleged infidelity, look no further than Beyoncé's fiery verse in that last song, which goes like this:
"You did some things to me, boy you do some things to me / But love is deeper than your pain and I believe you can change / Baby, the ups and downs are worth it, long way to go, but we'll work it."
She finishes up that string of thoughts with a lyric that seems to sum up the duo's relationship status pretty succinctly. "We're flawed but we're still perfect for each other," Beyoncé sings, adding that, while recent years might've ushered in a bit of trouble in paradise, those "nightmares," as Bey put it, sound like a thing of the past. Of course, that certainly doesn't mean she let her husband off the hook, by any means. "Yeah, you f*cked up the first stone, we had to get remarried," Beyoncé sings pointedly earlier on in the song, conceivably making a pretty clear reference to the alleged infidelity she first opened up about on Lemonade.
She doesn't stop there. "We keepin' it real with these people, right? Lucky I ain't kill you when I met that b*tch," Beyoncé continues, before JAY-Z jumps in with some lyrical real-ness of his own. "Y'all know how I met her, we broke up and got back together," he raps. "To get her back, I had to sweat her."
If the duo's very tangible chemistry in Everything Is Love is any indication, it certainly seems like Beyoncé and JAY-Z are back on the same team, regardless of past grievances. Still, it seems important that those who listen to their new album take note of the periodic references to JAY-Z's alleged cheating that crop up throughout. Because after more than two years, it sounds like Beyoncé and JAY-Z are finally ready to close this incredibly dramatic chapter of their lives for good. It seems pretty safe to say fans are ready to do the same.