Beyoncé loves a surprise release. Perhaps in an effort to follow the frenzy stirred up around the unexpected drop of her self-titled album in December 2013, the pop singer caught fans off-guard again in the early hours of Sunday morning (depending on one’s timezone) with a remix of track Flawless, featuring Nicki Minaj.
Aside from its sudden release, the track includes a reference to the fracas that broke out between her younger sister Solange and husband Jay Z earlier this year. “Of course sometimes shit go down / when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator,” Beyoncé sings on the bass-heavy track, directly referencing the incident which was first reported by celebrity gossip and news site TMZ in May.
Although both Jay Z and Solange have yet to speak directly about the footage, on 15 May, the Knowles family released an official statement about the standoff, to the Associated Press.
“At the end of the day families have problems and we’re no different,” the statement read. “We love each other and above all we are family. We’ve put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.”
Elsewhere on the Flawless remix, Beyoncé and Minaj throw in a variety of pop culture references: Beyoncé appears to address rapper Drake, singing “you wish I was your pound cake” – a nod to the song Pound Cake, which features a guest verse from Jay Z. Minaj also slips in a reference to Michael Jackson’s former doctor Conrad Murray, and the track swaps an excerpt from Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk on feminism, used on Flawless’ original version, for a brief sample of the Outkast track SpottieOttieDopalicious.
You can listen to the track via Billboard’s stream, or from the YouTube video below:
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