This much we know to be true: Beyoncé is up to something.
Any card-carrying member of the BeyHive knows Mrs. Carter has been prepping her follow-up album to the iconic 2013 record, Beyoncé -- working with artists such as D.R.A.M., Future and Sia. But when is she planning to drop it? Soon (we hope). Soon (we feel).
We did a bit of investigating to figure out the most likely release date. We're not indulging rumors here, only straight FACTS. All right, ladies, now let's get in formation.
Point: Beyoncé already dropped a surprise song -- "Formation" -- and music video the day before the Super Bowl, and she kicks off the Formation World Tour on April 27. Most artists release new albums before they tour. If she goes with a traditional release date, there are four Fridays left: April 1, April 8, April 15, and April 22.
(Could you imagine the mass chaos that would ensue if she dropped it on April Fools' Day?)
Counterpoint: Queen B kicked off her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour on April 15, 2013 but didn't release her self-titled album until Dec. 13. That is seven months later. When has Beyoncé ever done anything the traditional way?
Beyoncé is currently shooting a new video at the Super Dome. Jay Z is also with her. pic.twitter.com/HvobxVdbrG— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@Bey_Legion) December 22, 2015
Point: Bey has been spotted on multiple occasions filming... Well, we don't know. She shot something at the Superdome in New Orleans. She jumped off a building in downtown L.A. as cameras rolled. And then there's the matter of her Vevo account, which boasts 120 videos, but only 102 are visible. That's 18 clips unaccounted for. Another visual album?
Counterpoint: She could have been filming backdrops and video segues for the aforementioned world tour. No one ever reported hearing music during any of the shoots. (Counterpoint to the counterpoint: When she shot the first visual album, she used ear pieces to hear the music, so no one else would.)
Point: The elusive chanteuse has been on the cover of two magazines within the past month and given interviews to both, which is a big deal. There was Garage magazine, where she revealed her "proudest moment" was giving birth to Blue Ivy. Now, she covers the May issue of Elle, where she supposedly talks "freedom, feminism, and how her new fashion line helps women love their bodies." Would she really be indulging the press if she wasn't planning to release new music in the near future?
Counterpoint: Maybe she really just wants her Ivy Park athleisure wear line to sell well.
Point: The number four. If you don't know why the number four is important to Beyoncé, then you don't deserve a new album. She was born on Sept. 4 (or "Nine...four...eight...one...b'day," as she coos on "Get Me Bodied"). The "Ivy" in Blue's name is thought to be from the roman numerals IV, which is four. 4 was the title of her fourth album.
And then there's April 4. The fourth day of the fourth month -- and the same day she married Jay Z back in 2008. The date gets even more four-y written out as 04/04/16 as 4x4=16. #maths Anyway, if Beyoncé has the opportunity to release her album on a four-related date, would she let that pass her by?
Counterpoint: You tell us.
Our Best Guess: The new Beyoncé album is dropping this Monday, April 4, as a Tidal exclusive. (It has to be a Tidal exclusive, right?) Then it will hit iTunes on Friday, perhaps with an accompanying visual album if it hasn't already been released, so that it won't affect her record sales and to drum up a week of hype.
Or maybe she'll release it in December. Either way, get your credit card ready.
Beyoncé and Blue Ivy recently slayed at the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll. Check out their sickening ensembles in the video below.