One of the most personal moments on Destiny Fulfilled comes in the middle of "Soldier," when Beyoncé acknowledges her relationship with Jay-Z on record for the first time. Albeit minor, her verse (about falling for a guy from the BK, as in Jay's Brooklyn stomping grounds) offers a rare moment of commentary on the couple, which has thus far only been chronicled by tabloid photographers. Still, if you ask her which track she pours her heart out on the most, she'll tell you it's "Cater 2 U."
"It basically talks about how a guy inspires you," she says. "You want to make him happy and you want to cater to him. I know it's going to be surprising to a lot of people that the independent survivors are being submissive to their man, but it's important that people know that, you know, it's fine if your man deserves it and gives that back to you."
"Lyrically, it's incredible," adds Jerkins, who produced the tune. "It's about a man working the 9 to 5, bringing the bacon home, and the woman's taking care of the kids. And basically she does everything [one can do] to cater to a man, from taking his shoes off, to giving the man a manicure and pedicure."
With Beyoncé and Jay-Z's relationship seemingly going strong (the couple still will not comment on it) and Kelly Rowland and Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams definitely going strong (the couple announced their engagement earlier this summer), it's no surprise that much of the new album is about boys.
When I suggest this, the ladies correct me in unison: "Men!"
The last track, titled simply "Love," is Rowland's favorite. "Because love is so beautiful," she says.
"Awww!" Beyoncé and Michelle respond, like a scene from a wedding shower.
Michelle, whose playful spirit and numerous voices keep her partners laughing, is also partial to "Love," as well as the song before it, "Through With Love."
"Sometimes I get schizophrenic ... and I deal with so much foolishness to where I'm like, 'I don't got time for foolishness! I'm out the door! I can't go through with this,' " she explains. "But then eventually, once you get all of that out and you clear your mind, you begin to know yourself. When we went to church Sunday, [the pastor] talked about knowing yourself before anyone else can know you, and [it's true]."
Each of the Destiny's Child women has a different role behind the scenes: Michelle keeps them spiritually balanced, Beyoncé handles the bulk of the business, and Kelly — in her own words — "shares her love." Not until they were apart did Destiny's Child realize how much they rely on each other.
"It's so great to be back, 'cause I'm still learning so much from them," Kelly says. "It's definitely a blessing to be able to learn something new from people that you love and admire every day."
"I think other groups can be more successful if they learn from each other," Michelle adds. "But you should also take the time out to do what you love to do individually, because we would love to be 100 years old and singing 'Survivor,' but we know reality comes in and says, 'Um, you can't wear that tank top anymore.' You know?"
Sensing the weight of her comment, she lightens the mood. "But we're going to be good," she adds. "We're going to wear tank tops when we're 90!"
Which brings us to the second toughest question of the interview. And I'm not answering this one.
"So what happens after Destiny Fulfilled?"
"We don't know," Beyoncé answers. "It's important for all of us to maintain our friendship, and it's important for all of us to be happy. And I think the hardest thing was the schedule, after the solo records and the Broadway plays and the movies — the #1 movies — getting us back together and doing this record. And that's the Destiny Fulfilled.
"Maybe five years from now we might have a couple of kids or do whatever we want to do individually and then decide, 'Let's do another record,' " she continues. "Maybe not. But [what's important] is we maintain our friendship and set that example for other people."