Everything We Learned From Jay-Z: The Cheating, The Music & Coming Clean
Beyoncé’s Lemonade has finally come full circle
When Beyoncé released her smash album Lemonade in 2016, people could only talk about two things: How amazing the music was and what it seemed to be saying. Queen Bey hinted at infidelity (Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home/ Today I regret the night I put that ring on) and—since nothing was confirmed then—her fans questioned if she was talking about her own marriage or her mother’s.
But with Jay-Z’s release of 4:44 earlier this year and its apparent confession (“You did what with who?” What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? “You risked all that for Blue?”), it was clear that one of the most powerful couples in music went through something, away from media’s prying eyes.
And in a recent interview with the New York Times—without the static of music and rhythm—Jay-Z has really come clean.
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“You shut down all emotions”
In his heartfelt interview, the 47-year-old musician talked about compassion and seeing others through their situations and hardships. Drawing from his own personal experiences, he spoke about a dark place that we’ve all been through.
“You have to survive… And when you go into survival mode, what [happens]? You shut down all emotions,” he said. “So even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can’t connect… And then all the things happen from there: Infidelity.”
And there it was, the acknowledgement of what had followed him and Beyoncé for months and months despite their public appearances and initial silence. Jay-Z didn’t go into detail, not about the woman (or women) he had been with nor when it happened; his admission seemed like nothing more than a passing comment to make a much bigger point. Nevertheless, it was there. The elephant in the room had been addressed.
“The best place is right in the middle of the pain”
To help him, Beyoncé and their situation, they both threw themselves into their craft. Jay-Z admitted that they used their “art almost like a therapy session” and that they “started making music together.” That joint album, which we can only assume would have been heartbreakingly honest, never came into fruition as Beyoncé’s music quickly moved further along.
But while the couple could have worked separately, Jay-Z explained that he was there throughout the entire painful process. As he described it, they were both at the eye of the hurricane, which served as their middle ground.
We know now that there were a lot of conversations between the two, some through their music and some in private, but most of them uncomfortable. Nevertheless, Jay-Z explained that they were necessary and—more importantly—that he supported Beyoncé through that time as much as she supported him.
“The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused,
and then have to deal with yourself.”
This is the second time in recent weeks that Jay-Z, who’s normally private about personal hardships and issues, has publically opened up. Maybe it’s part of a new era to him, or maybe it was an attempt to silence the buzzing noise that always followed. Whatever it is, we’re here for it.