Husband to Beyoncé and hip-hop god Jay-Z has finally confirmed what we all spent way too much brain power deducing over the past year: Yes, he cheated on his wife Beyoncé, and yes Bey’s groundbreaking Lemonade and Hova’s own 4:44 were testaments to his infidelity.
Speaking to T Magazine, Jay-Z revealed his adultery was the result of an emotional shutdown, and how the only way the couple was able to get through this severely rough patch was through a lot of introspection on the part of Hov as well as using their music as therapy.
He explained to T executive editor Dean Baquet:
“You have to survive. 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 that happen from there: infidelity.”
He reflects on what it is like to be the reason someone you love is in pain, to have your own mistake glaring at you, and how that has to be something you, as the transgressor, must deal with and accept rather than just run away from.
“Most people walk away. Divorce rate is like 50% or something, because most people can’t see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then you have to deal with yourself. Most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself, and so you walk away.”
Jay also revealed how the two musicians worked on an unreleased album together as a form of therapy, and how while Lemonade being released in place of their joint album was uncomfortable, the two respect each other as artists when all is said and done.
“We were using our art almost like a therapy session. 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. It was uncomfortable. But I was really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. At the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another’s craft. I think she’s amazing.”
“Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became. There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album.’ I was right there the entire time.”
And while things only got more uncomfortable when the artists had to sit there and listen to the raw pain of each other’s work, it ultimately was what helped heal their relationship00 “The best place is right in the middle of the pain,” he said.
“And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations.”
When asked about the track “Song Cry” off 4:44, in which Jay raps about the possibility of having to see another man play with his child, he said:
“The strongest thing a man can do is cry. To expose your feelings, to be vulnerable in front of the world. That’s real strength. You know, you feel like you gotta be this guarded person. That’s not real. It’s fake.”
We’re happy the couple is trying to make it work. The rest of us are just over here now wondering how anyone has any hope at all for their relationship when even Beyoncé can get cheated on.