Beyoncé and Jay-Z (a.k.a The Carters) surprised us by dropping an album called Everything Is Love, coupled with the world premiere of its first single entitled Apesh-t. But perhaps the most shocking part of this was that The Carters shot and produced the video inside the prestigious Louvre Museum in Paris.
If there's anything we can always expect from this power couple, aside from hard-hitting lyrics and symbolism-laden visuals, it's an incredibly stylish music video.
The Carters' reconciliation album demonstrates their ultimate swagger.
The video opens with a tracking shot of the couple clad in satin power suits in front of the famous Mona Lisa painting. Queen Bey wears a pink Peter Pilotto suit while Jay-Z matches her with a pastel blue double breasted iteration; their color choice is deliberate, representing the hue that society often associates to gender. However, with the couple wearing matching suits, they prove that in their relationship, gender stereotypes are irrelevant. They value equality and highlight each other's power and self-security without trumping the other's.
Beyoncé reclaims her alpha status.
After her relationship went through a rough patch with her husband's cheating scandal, Beyoncé is ready to step back into her female alpha role. She dances right in the middle of her crew clad in a two-piece tartan ensemble by Burberry. But we think that beyond her rise from a fall, Beyoncé is also sending an important statement about the power of femininity. And what better way to hint at this than to dance right in front of the 1807 Jacques-Louis David painting The Coronation of Napoleon, which depicts the crowning of the Empress Joséphine.
Victory is best worn in white.
Following the theme of the video, the couple demonstrates their power and authority. Here, they wear structured white pieces in front of The Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture, which depicts Nike, the goddess of victory.
An homage to their roots.
Clad in head-to-toe Versace, Beyoncé drops an opulent reference to the 1800 painting Portrait of a Negress by Marie-Guillemine Benoist. The portrait is of a black woman, but what makes it interesting is that the painting isn't the usual depiction of a black slave as a possession. Instead, it portrays her as a woman and highlights her humanity, something very rebellious and radical to have been created at that time. Perhaps this is the couple's subtle recognition of their undeniable successful status within a society that had looked down on people of color for centuries.
Their love for each other is unbreakable.
What better way to convey this message than to have the Greek goddess of love stand behind the reconciled couple? Beyoncé channels Aphrodite by wearing a nude bodysuit that parallels her body with the sculpture.
From here on out, shining brightly is their agenda.
Just like the previous scenes in the video, Beyoncé and Jay-Z stand in front of another sculpture to send their message across: Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun. Beyoncé channels the sun's warm tone with her monochrome tan ensemble as Jay-Z stands behind her clad in black, perhaps symbolizing standing in his wife's shadow. But we're not putting Jay-Z in the corner, mind you. In fact, we believe this alludes to his total support and encouragement for Queen Bey's future plans.