Published Nov 29, 2017When Beyoncé dropped Lemonade last year, her relationship to husband JAY-Z was put on display to the world — heartache, rage, forgiveness and all. This year, JAY-Z responded to many of the allegations of infidelity and the hurt it caused his wife and family on his own ultra-confessional album 4:44. Now, in a new interview with the New York Times, the rapper has opened up about his and Bey's reactions to each other's work.
When asked if the albums caused each other pain, JAY-Z replied, "Of course." He added that both records made the other partner "very, very uncomfortable."
"The best place in the, you know, hurricane is in the middle of it," he continued. "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."
JAY-Z went on to express that he was really proud of Beyoncé's music, and she of was proud of his — that "at the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another's craft."
And while the power couple did initially set out to make a collaborative album, fans probably shouldn't hold their breath for a joint release. Jay did say that "we still have a lot of that music," but clarified that Lemonade and 4:44 is what that project eventually turned into.
In addition to the process of creating art, JAY-Z also opened up about the couple's relationship, saying that making music together was "almost like a therapy session."
"The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone's face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself," he said. "Most people don't want to do that. You don't want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away."
Thankfully, that hasn't happened yet.
In the interview, Jay also addressed his troubled relationship with Kanye West, admitting their relationship is indeed complicated.
"'Cause, you know — Kanye came into this business on my label. So I've always been like his big brother," Jay explained. "And we're both entertainers. It's always been like a little underlying competition with your big brother. And we both love and respect each other's art, too. So it's like, we both — everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. You know what I'm saying? And then there's like a lot of other factors that play in it. But it's gonna, we gonna always be good."
When the interviewer asked if there was tension, Jay replied with the following:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. But that happens. In the long relationship, you know, hopefully when we're 89 we look at this six months or whatever time and we laugh at that. You know what I'm saying? There's gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through. And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, "These are the things that I'm uncomfortable with. These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel." I'm sure he feels that I've done things to him as well. You know what I'm saying? These are — I'm not a perfect human being by no stretch. You know…
It's just that there's certain things that happened that's not really acceptable to me… And we just need to speak about it. But there's genuine love there.
Read the full interview with JAY-Z in the New York Times here, or watch video footage of it here. 4:44 is available to order via Umusic.