In a new nonfiction video, rapper and music mogul Jay-Z details some of the marital issues alluded to in his new album, “4:44,” some songs of which are responses to his wife Beyoncé’s partly autobiographical “Lemonade.”
“This is my real life,” the 21-time Grammy Award-winner, 47, says in “Footnotes for 4:44,” an 11-minute-9-second video available on the subscription-only music-streaming platform Tidal, of which he is a founding co-owner.
“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,” he says, noting that cracks in the structure soon appeared.
“Things start happening that the public can see,” he adds, possibly referring to a widely publicized incident in May 2014, when elevator security video at a hotel caught Beyoncé simply looking on as her sister, singer Solange Knowles, hits and kicks Jay-Z until a bodyguard pulls Solange away.
He goes on to say his and Beyoncé’s relationship reached a point where they felt they had to “tear this down” and “start from the beginning . . . It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” He adds, according to a Vibe transcript, “Most humans . . . we’re not willing to put ourselves through that.”
In a passage transcribed by Vulture, Jay-Z recalls being on vacation with his wife and begging her not to give up on their marriage. “What is happening to my body right now? Did I just say . . . ‘Don’t leave’? All this is new for me,” he says. Later, Jay-Z says he played “4:44” for Beyoncé at an early stage of the process, explaining, “We just got to a place where in order for this to work, this can’t be fake. Not one ounce. I’m not saying it wasn’t uncomfortable because obviously it was.”
The couple have three children: daughter Blue Ivy, born in January 2012, and twins, daughter Rumi and son Sir, born last month.