Jay Z Talks Infidelity And Reliving Uncomfortable Past: “The Hardest Thing Is Seeing Pain On Someone’s Face That You Caused”
When Beyoncé released Lemonade in 2016, nearly every woman who listened to the album could feel her pain. But no one knew the sting of the hurt behind the experiences of infidelity she sung about more than the singer herself and the cause of her anguish: Her husband. And though Jay Z has since shared his feelings on the matter via his album, 4:44, released this summer, a lot of us still have questions. And, for some reason, Jay Z is still willing to give us answers.
The rapper recently sat down with New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet to chat about a myriad of things, including music, of course. Specifically, Baquet, said, “I’m trying to picture the scene when you and your wife both talked about making these very confessional, open albums.” (He’s not alone there.) He goes on to ask, “Was it difficult to say: ‘I’m gonna talk about the problems in our marriage. I’m gonna talk about how we almost lost things.’ And for her to say: ‘I’m gonna talk about my pain and anger at you.’ What were those conversations like?”
Jay Z said things didn’t happen that way, though. “We were using our art almost like a therapy session,” he explained. “And we started making music together.”
Because Beyoncé’s album was further along, Lemonade was released as opposed to the joint album they initially planned, Jay Z added, reiterating, “There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album.’ I was right there the entire time.”
If you’re thinking, that must’ve been uncomfortable, you’re absolutely right — “very, very uncomfortable,” said the 47-year-old. “And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations,” he said. “You know. [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.
“You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves,” he added. “The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself. So, you know, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away.”
Jay and Bey clearly did the opposite, perhaps looking inside themselves through their music. Whatever their process was, it was therapeutic enough to keep the couple who’s been married since April 2008 together and whole enough to welcome twins, Sir and Rumi, this past June. As Iyanla would say, they did the work.
Check out the full interview here.