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Released: 2014

Features: JAY-Z

“Drunk in Love” is a deliciously intoxicating piece from Beyoncé and JAY-Z, a real-life power couple who are not ones to hold back. The track, marinated in electronic R&B beats, is a robust portrayal of romantic and physical intoxication, evoking the haze and delirium that both love and alcohol can exponentially stir within us.

Opening with the repetitive phrase, “I’ve been drinking, I’ve been drinking”, Beyoncé sets the tone for this sonic exploration of inebriation. The line may seem trivial, but in the context of pop music, it’s a bold declaration – an unapologetic admission of her indulgence. When she croons, “I get filthy when that liquor gets into me”, she’s hinting at the uninhibited side that alcohol can invoke, a sentiment often mirrored in the liberation that passionate love can bring.

Next comes the phrase “Cigars on ice,” a symbol pertinent to Jay-Z’s lifestyle, a nod to luxury and excess. But Beyoncé flips it on its head, using the line as a metaphor to describe the cold, hard desire she feels for her significant other. As she continues to evoke provocative imagery, “grinding up in that club” and “rubbing on it, rub-rubbing,” it’s clear that this isn’t just a romp through the intoxicated love fields; this is about raw, primal love.

In the ensuing verse, the floodgates of drunk love burst open as Jay-Z drops his weighty bars. He gets cheeky with the D’USSÉ reference – a cognac he’s partially vested in – and touts it as “the shit.” Jay-Z isn’t just throwing out braggadocios lines; he’s cleverly weaving his business endeavors into the narrative. His lyrical prowess shines with literary devices like personification – “I’m Ike Turner, turn up baby,” a reference to the notoriously tumultuous relationship between Ike and Tina Turner, hinting at the passionate, albeit destructive, nature of their intoxicated love.

As Beyoncé crashes back into the chorus, she stays steadfast with her intoxicated disposition, confessing she’s been sippin’ and how it’s keeping her “on fire”. This verse is potentially a double entendre, alluding to both sexual desire and the burning warmth that alcohol consumption can instigate. In the final verse, the phrase “I’ve been drinking, watermelon” seems puzzling. Still, music insiders suggest it may be a covert reference to “Watermelon,” a cocktail consisting of vodka, watermelon, and other ingredients, reinforcing the theme of intoxication.

Overall, “Drunk in Love” is a complex concoction of raw passion, intoxication, and intimacy. It’s a spirited battle cry for all those who’ve ever found themselves helplessly inebriated, whether by love, liquor, or a heady mix of both. This track is more than just a catchy chorus; it’s a testament to the intoxicating power of love – and a fine cognac on the rocks.

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