Jay-Z: Listening to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ Album Was ‘Very, Very Uncomfortable’

Jay-Z Beyonce
Jay-Z and Beyonce attend the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Jay-Z and Beyoncé opened up about the ups and downs of their marriage on their respective albums 4:44 and Lemonade, and while hearing the other’s work was difficult, the rapper says it ultimately benefitted them as individuals and as a couple.

Describing the experience of listening to each other’s songs about their struggles – including cheating rumors – as “very, very uncomfortable,” Jay-Z told T: The New York Times Style Magazine in an interview published on Wednesday, November 29, that “the best place in the, you know, hurricane is like in the middle of it … We were sitting in the eye of that hurricane. Uh, maybe not use hurricane because so many people are being affected right now. But the best place is right in the middle of the pain.”

And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations,” he continued. “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. 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 added: “So, you know, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away.”

On the title track of his album, Jay-Z, who shares kids Blue Ivy, 5, and 5-month-old twins Sir and Rumi with the singer, rapped“‘You did what with who?’ / What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? / ‘You risked that for Blue?’” The rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, also references his wife’s 2016 hit song “Sorry,” in which she tells a cheating man to “call Becky with the good hair.” In a seemingly direct response to the lyric, Jay-Z mentions the same name in his song “Family Feud.”

“Yeah, I’ll f–k up a good thing if you let me / Let me alone, Becky. A man that don’t take care his family can’t be rich,” he says. 

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