In a new interview with T Magazine, JAY-Z addresses what it was like having Beyoncé expose his infidelity and rough patches in their marriage in her 2016 album, Lemonade, and responding in his own album, 4:44, a year later.
When T executive editor, Dean Baquet, asked how JAY-Z and Beyoncé first revealed to each other that they were making “very confessional, open albums” about their relationship, the rapper explained:
“Again, it didn’t — it didn’t happen in that way. It happened — we were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together.
“And then the at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. 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.”
JAY-Z added that he and Beyoncé were “both very, very uncomfortable” reacting to each other’s work, but “the best place is right in the middle of the pain.”
He continued: “And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations. 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.”
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— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@Bey_Legion) November 29, 2017
The rapper and Beyoncé married in 2008 after years of dating. They welcomed their first child, Blue Ivy, in 2012 and twins, Rumi and Sir, this June, after the couple struggled to conceive (which JAY also addresses in 4:44). In his sit-down with T, JAY-Z also explained why he and the superstar decided to work through their family troubles and reconcile, rather than split up.
“You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself,” he said. “So, you know, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away.”
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The incredibly talented couple were also able to turn their martial strife into acclaimed works of art. Beyoncé was the most-nominated artist for the 2017 Grammys, and though Lemonade was notoriously robbed of the Album of the Year nod, she still went home with two awards. Likewise, JAY-Z nabbed the most nominations for the 2018 Grammys, with 4:44 in the running for eight different awards.
We’ll just patiently wait for all of those unreleased songs they worked on together.
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