Let’s Beyonest, you are not remotely surprised by this news. Ever since that elevator footage of Solange Knowles beating a stoic Jay-Z as Beyoncé stood passively by emerged, we knew that the international power couple were experiencing marital problems.
To further ignite the rumors, Beyoncé appeared to allude to her husband’s infidelity on her platinum-selling album Lemonade, in which she sang about “Becky with the good hair”, prompting her fans to commence a frenzied hunt for the elusive Becky. Her track ‘Hold Up’, which held the prestigious number one position in multiple countries, however, seemed to provide the biggest hint of them all. “Something don’t feel right because it ain’t right,” the 36-year-old singer sang, “I smell your secrets, and I’m not too perfect to ever feel this worthless. How did it come down to this, going through your call list? I don’t wanna lose my pride, but I’ma f*ck me up a bitch.” When Jay-Z dropped his own album 4:44 this year, Beyoncé fans listened intently for the Grammy-winner’s response. “I apologize, often womanize,” the 47-year-old raps, seeming to corroborate Beyoncé’s hint that he cheated. “Took for my child to be born,” he continued, “see through a woman’s eyes, took for these natural twins to believe in miracles, took me too long for this song, I don’t deserve you.” However, discussion of his infidelity was confined to his album. Off-stage and out of the recording booth the father-of-three was more reluctant to divulge details of his philandering. Meanwhile, fans were distracted by the birth of the couple’s twins, Sir Carter and Rumi, in June. However, as the media pandemonium settled, Jay-Z was left exposed. Now, several months later, he has finally revealed the truth about his adulterous behavior in a tell-all interview, which has left fans feeling very conflicted. In an interview with Dean Baquet for The New York Times, the Brooklyn-born rapper opened up about the mistakes he’s made. He touched upon his infidelity, linking it to his difficult childhood which he claims made him push his wife away. “You have to survive,” he said. “So you go into survival mode, and when you go into survival mode, what happens? You shut down all emotions. So, even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can’t connect. … In my case, like, it’s deep. And then all the things happen from there: infidelity.” He then went on to discuss both of their explosive albums, explaining why they were so saturated with snippets of their personal lives, something which was quite out of character for the usually secretive couple. “We were using our art almost like a therapy session,” he continued. “And we started making music together. And then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on.” However, Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, admitted that this public openness made them both “very, very uncomfortable” before going on to say that “the best place in the hurricane is in the middle of it.”
“The best place is right in the middle of the pain. And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations. [I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. And, you know, at the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another’s craft. I think she’s amazing,” Jay-Z said.
“You know, most people walk away, and, like, the divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing [the] pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then hav[ing] to deal with [it] yourself.”
“I grew so much from the experience,” said the star, who is worth a reported $810 million. “I think the most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected, and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it.” “Being aware of [your emotions] in everyday life puts you at such a … you’re at such an advantage. You know, you realize that if someone’s racist toward you, it ain’t about you. It’s about their upbringing and what happened to them, and how that led them to this point. You know, most bullies bully.” The hip-hop legend then went on to discuss his fractious relationship with rapper, Kanye West. “I [talked to] Kanye the other day, just to tell him, like, he’s my brother. I love Kanye. I do. It’s a complicated relationship with us,” he said. This came a year after West had a public meltdown, ranting on stage that Jay-Z was going to “kill” him.
“Kanye came into this business on my label. So I’ve always been like his big brother. And we’re both entertainers. It’s always been like a little underlying competition with your big brother. And we both love and respect each other’s art too.”
“So it’s like, we both – everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. You know what I’m saying? And then there’s like a lot of other factors that play in it. But it’s gonna, we gonna always be good.”
The video below details the rappers’ infamous feud:
“[West is] a very compassionate person. And a lot of times he gets in trouble trying to help others. So I can identify with it. It’s just that there are certain things that happened that’s not really acceptable to me… And we just need to speak about it. But there’s a genuine love there.”
The interview may be the rawest one that the hip-hop star has ever given. However, fans are divided as to whether his excuse for cheating on one of the world’s most wanted women is good enough. What do you think?