Jay-Z says marriage to Beyonce 'wasn't built on the 100 per cent truth'

Rapper responds to Beyonce's lyrics in Lemonade on many of his album's tracks

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 11 July 2017 09:04 BST
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Beyonce and Jay Z at the 2016 NBA Finals
Beyonce and Jay Z at the 2016 NBA Finals (Jason Miller/Getty)

Jay-Z isn't done with the confessions just yet, it seems, and has released "Footnotes for 4:44" days after he shared the video for his new album's title track.

Like the "Footnotes for the Story of O.J" visuals, "Footnotes for 4:44" features interviews with several famous men of colour: Chris Rock, Will Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Aziz Ansari and Mahershala Ali to name but a few, who discuss issues such as black love, toxic masculinity, and relationships with women.

In the video, Jay-Z opens up about how his marriage to fellow artist Beyonce almost ended, the toll that took on them both, and how they began to recover.

"This is my real life," he says. "I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn't totally built on the 100 per cent truth and it starts cracking. Things started 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 the hardest thing I've ever done."

Jay-Z also seemed to suggest that trying to repair his marriage was harder than growing up in Marcy Projects, and recalled a moment where he had begged Beyonce not to leave him.

"What is happening to my body right now? Did I just say, 'Don't leave'?" All this is new for me," he says.

Trailer: Jay Z's 4:44 album

Later on in the video, a clip in the studio of him surrounded by his team shows him explaining: "We just got to a palce 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 rapper used tracks on 4:44 to make a public apology to Beyonce for past indiscretions.

The album, which was released exclusively to Tidal on 30 June, saw Jay-Z respond to his wife's accusations from her critically-acclaimed album Lemonade.

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For instance, on Beyonce's song "Hold Up" she sings: "Let's imagine for a second you... Never had the baddest woman in the game up in your sheets."

Jay-Z responds on "Kill Jay Z": "You almost went Eric Benet/Let the baddest girl in the world get away."

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