Everything is Love
"Hey, Ms. Carter..." Just last week the Carters dropped their much-rumored joint album Everything is Love. Of course I - like every other member of the beyhive - rushed to Tidal and immediately listened to the songs. Let me just say, FIRE. Like FIYAH! But after listening to them all again with a more critical ear, I began to hear themes directly related to what I write about daily - real marriage. I often say that most people view marriage as either a romantic comedy or as a horror film when reality marriage is truly about the grace in the middle. The album trilogy t they provided has shown us the good, the bad and ugly of marriage but also the redemptive side as well.
Let's dig in a bit deeper... When 'Yonce dropped Lemonade it quickly became the battle cry of the broken-hearted. Actually, that is selling it short. Lemonade is more than a list of "he done me wrong" songs. Lemonade is the "he done me wrong, I'm pissed, my heart hurts, I'm about to die, no wait - fuck that I am a phoenix and will rise better from this bullshit, watch me fly" album. Most women I know have been in that space. I certainly have.
Then Jay released 4:44. Not an "I'm sorry baby" Keith Sweat-esque track. No, he released the "I'm about to lose the best thing in my life and for what? a piece of ass? So let me get my ish together and figure out why I keep messing up so that I won't be sitting on the porch like Mister in A Color Purple" album. His release was more than an "I'm sorry." "I'm sorry's" fall flat. Jay was on his grown-man ish and really delved into himself so that he could love his family better. The only thing better than Jay's album was Jay's interview with Dean Baquet. (You should watch it!)
Then the UNIFIED Carters hit us with Everything is Love. The growth of both of them as artists and as a couple is evident. People assume that when couples go through turmoil in marriage that everything miraculously gets better the moment one of them says "I'm Sorry." Nope. Turmoil has real consequences and lingering effects. After the metaphorical house burns down, you are left with a pile of ashes. No simple "I'm sorry" can fix that. Everything is Love illustrates the real work that goes into rebuilding. See the house is gone. Destroyed. "I'm sorry" does not rebuild walls and make people feel protected from the elements. Hard work does. On track #8 LoveHappy, Bey sings "You did some things to me/Boy, you do some things to me/But love is deeper than your pain & I believe you can change. Baby, the ups and downs are worth it/Long way to go but we'll work it. We're flawed but we're still perfect for each other. Sometimes I thought we'd never see the light, went through hell with heaven on our side." Woo! That's acknowledgment of pain and rebuilding all in those lyrics. There's real marriage in those tracks. Not only is there real marriage in those tracks, this release is full of unity, love, family, and community building. That is everything that matters. The Carter trilogy showed us pain, remorse, and rebuilding. All of that is rooted in love. How? You ask. Simple... You can't hurt me if I don't love you. You won't feel remorse if you don't love me. And we sure as heck can't rebuild if the love isn't there. Each step has love at its foundation. So, the Carters were right. Everything is love.