When it was released in April 2016, Beyoncé’s Lemonade saved the Beyhive from a Queen B drought (she hadn’t released a new album in three years)—but it probably saved her marriage to Jay-Z, too.
In a candid convo with Dean Baquet at T Magazine, the 47-year-old rapper confirmed that he and Bey have struggled with the consequences of his “infidelity,” but were able to use their art “like a therapy session.”
The couple was apparently working on a joint album—from which they still have a whole bunch of unreleased music, Jay-Z revealed—when the cracks in their marriage started to appear. As a result, the solo projects they each started caused the other a lot of pain, which Jay says was “very, very uncomfortable,” but necessary. “We were sitting in the eye of that hurricane,” as he put it, before going on to say that was the best possible place they could be.
“The music she was making at that time was further along,” Jay-Z explained. “So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on.” When Lemonade was released, fans around the world were shocked to hear that anyone could cheat on Queen B, let alone the dude she was previously “Drunk in Love” with. Many people thought the plot point was a publicity stunt—until Jay-Z released 4:44 in June, wherein he pleads guilty to all charges.
“It was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations,” the rapper said. “[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.”
Parents to five-year-old Blue Ivy and twin babes Rumi and Sir, born in June, Bey and Jay ultimately decided to work through the probs together instead of walking away. “Most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves,” Jay-Z said. “The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself.”
The interview also saw Jay-Z urging other men to connect with and share their emotions, a lesson he learned from participating in formal therapy. “I grew so much from the experience,” he said. “Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. […] Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at such… an advantage. You realize that if someone’s racist towards you, it ain’t about you. It’s about their upbringing and what happened to them.”
While we were take-a-baseball-bat-to-a-fire-hydrant mad hearing the confirmation that this dude actually had the audacity to cheat on Beyoncé, it seems Jay is *actually* working to be better. Leave it to these two to turn even couples’ therapy into #CoupleGoals.
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