Fans of Jay Z and Beyoncé were pleasantly surprised by the couple’s collaborative album, Everything Is Love. They then went on to release a video to one of the songs. Apes*** that literally broke the internet.
This weekend, Jay Z and Beyoncé not only released their surprise collab album, Everything is Love, but they also introduced their latest video, 'APES***' that is taking the industry by storm. As reported by Rolling Stone, the song is layered with messages that any keen listener will pick up from the get-go. The video is set in the Paris' famous Louvre Museum where the couple breezes through famous works of art from Mona Lisa to Venus de Milo.
It is not lost on viewers that the museum has made little room for non-white artists, and that seems to be the point that these two talented artists are interested in highlighting. They perform in front of the Egyptian sphinx and on other galleries filled with neo-classical French paintings before singling out the few black faces.
The video, directed by Ricky Saiz, shows glimpses of the two black figures in Paolo Veronese's painting "The Wedding at Cana,"where Jesus turned water into wine and the Marie-Guillemine Benoist's "Portrait d'une Négresse," a depiction of a black woman staring guilelessly back at the viewer.
The video defiantly places black faces and figures in a place of the world where they were never given much attention. Beyoncé and eight of her dances all line up and start dancing in front of David's "The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Joséphine,"- which is an extravagance of “white” art. The contract is obviously noticeable and in a way, reduces one of the most revered pieces in the museum to a wallpaper.
Throughout the "Apeshit" video, Beyoncé and Jay-Z easily upstage the art pieces in the Louvre. One incidence is when Beyoncé performs a series of chopping micro-poses with her hands before the director cuts to a scene of a seemingly distressed character in David’s "The Rape of the Sabine Women." She moves fearlessly through the scene while David seems merely afraid.
As the video comes to an end, we see the couple standing in front of the Venus de Milo; the white marble creation that is famously inert and arm-less. In contrast, the singer is fluid and in perpetual movement. The same applies to her dancers who dominate and turn the motionless museum into their stage.
In some of the last shots of the video, Beyoncé walks powerfully in front of "The Winged Victory of Samothrace" in a poofy white gown before making the final stop by the Mona Lisa. Worth noting is that each of the outfits on the video is aimed at painting the modern woman as inspired and powerful.