JAY-Z opened up about his relationship to Beyoncé in a new video released in conjunction with his latest album, 4:44.
“What I thought was when I met my dad was, ‘Oh, I’m free to love now.’ But it’s like, ‘Okay, yeah, but how are you going to do it? You want to do it, I get it. But how are you going to do it?'” JAY-Z, who reconciled with his father before the older man’s death in 2003, says in Footnotes for “4:44,” the album’s title song. On the track, JAY-Z addresses his alleged infidelity: “I apologize, often womanize/ Took for my child to be born/ See through a woman’s eyes/ Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles/ Took me too long for this song/ I don’t deserve you.”
Speaking in the Footnotes video, JAY-Z said he didn’t enter into his relationship with Beyoncé by being totally honest. “This is my real life. I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth, and then it starts cracking,” he said, without mentioning Beyoncé by name. “Things start happening that the public can see. Then we had to get to a point of ‘OK, tear this down and let’s start from the beginning.’ It’s hard. Remember we just talked about me: I’m from Marcy Projects. I’ve been shot at. But nothing is harder than this. By far. I’m telling you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Most humans, us, you know what I mean? We’re not willing to put ourselves through that. Most people give up.”
Later in the video, which also features stars like Chris Rock, Will Smith, Michael B. Jordan, Jesse Williams, and Aziz Ansari, discussing the complexities and challenges of relationships, JAY-Z said he had a sort of epiphany after having to watch Beyoncé leave. “I was on a boat, and I had the best time. I was like, ‘Man, this is great.’ Then she had to leave,” he said. “I was, like, crushed. I was like, ‘Man, I don’t even feel like this. What is happening to my body right now?’ I was like, ‘Don’t go.’ I was like, ‘Did I just say … all this is new for me. Don’t leave.”
As for his confessional new album and its namesake track, JAY-Z said in the video he did play it for Beyoncé before the record’s release. “We’ve been in that space where we just got to a place where, in order for this to work, this can’t be fake,” he said. “Not one ounce. I’m not saying it wasn’t uncomfortable because obviously, it was. But because we’ve been doing this for so long, it was less uncomfortable.”
Watch a clip from the new Footnotes video above.