Where were you when Beyoncé and Jay-Z, aka The Carters, dropped their latest single, "Apes***"?
Fans of the hip hop power couple were stunned last week when the pair released their joint surprise album, "Everything Is Love," along with a music video for their first single, which was shot entirely in Paris' Louvre museum.
"Obviously, it’s beautiful," said Brittany Luse, who hosts The Nod, a podcast dedicated to black culture.
She and her co-host, Eric Eddings, sat down with InsideEdition.com to chat about some of the visual, cultural and personal cues Beyoncé and Jay-Z used in the production of their latest music video.
At first viewing, both Luse and Eddings noted the collaboration equally reflected both of their personalities and careers to this point.
"It blends the stuff they’re interested in," Eddings said. "Jay-Z really loves opulence and Beyoncé kind of does art pieces for her videos, so it would make sense they would do this."
Luse added, “This is Beyoncé reaching her final form — she’s always loved art — she and Jay love The Louvre.”
Both Luse and Eddings were quick to notice a scene of Beyoncé and Jay-Z both wearing white, in front of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, a sculpture positioned in the middle of The Louvre.
“Royal wedding, right?” Eddings said.
Just like Beyoncé's "Lemonade" and Jay-Z’s "4:44" before it, "Everything Is Love" also mentioned Jay-Z's infidelity and Beyoncé’s forgiveness, and Luse mused that the scene of the pair in white was a message about their reconciliation.
In fact, rumors of the couple renewing their vows, or even having a second wedding, came up just weeks before the album dropped.
"She’s saying all this stuff happened, but we’re in a good place now," Eddings said.
"Did you see that look when she said, ‘Can you believe we made it?'" Luse said. "They're representing this united image to the world again, The Carters."
They also pointed out that while The Louvre has been the focal point of many movies, including Tom Hanks' "The Da Vinci Code" and Audrey Hepburn’s "Funny Face," the famous Paris museum only acts as the setting as Beyoncé and Jay-Z take center stage.
"[The Louvre is] not part of the plot," Luse said.
They noted a similar contrast when it came to the dancers — where their black skin becomes the subject in each scene, as the Eurocentric museum is seen in the background.
“Each time you see a piece of what you would consider white art, they position black people to contrast it," Eddings said. "It’s like saying, 'Hey, this is just as good. Why isn’t it on the wall? Why is it not here?'"
But when even comparing the two stars, Luse and Eddings noted that Jay-Z seemed to take a step into the background as Beyoncé assumes the spotlight.
"They’re standing in their silk suits — he’s wearing sea foam green, she’s wearing bright pink," Luse said. "There’s a seafoam green frame around the Mona Lisa and so he automatically ends up blending in more."
She noted the same visual effect in another scene, as Beyoncé dances in a garish MCM outfit, and Jay-Z stands a couple steps back in a more neutral grey suit, mimicking the colors of the sphinx behind them.
Their attention to detail extended to a clear political statement — a row of younger black men kneeling, reminiscent of the national anthem protests in the NFL — and a more subtle nod to diversity by correcting a widely debated topic among dancers of color.
“I used to dance ballet for a long time and everything is white or pink. The shoes are pink, the tights are pink," Luse said. "All of the dancers are wearing stocking material that’s close to their actual skin tone. These are not approximations of the dancers’ skin tones, it’s pretty on target."
Regardless of the nature of their romantic life, Luse and Eddings agreed that “Everything Is Love,” shared under their joint name The Carters, pointed to the pair as a successful professional partnership.
"This has both of their fingerprints on it," Luse said. “If nothing else, [Beyoncé and Jay-Z] are an amazing pair of collaborators. You can see their chemistry as collaborators coming through, loud and clear.”