JAY-Z, a normally private artist who uses his music to reveal the workings of his marriage and personal life, has opened up about his marriage to Beyonce, his friendship with Kanye West, and his career with The New York Times Style Magazine.
Acknowledging infidelity on his part his marriage, the rapper said therapy helped him see that his upbringing connects to how he interacts with others.
“You have to survive. So you go into survival mode, and when you go into survival mode what happen? You shut down all emotions. So even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can't connect,” he said. “In my case, like it's, it's deep. And then all the things happen from there: infidelity.
Jay said he and Beyonce were initially working on a joint album when Beyonce began working on her 2016 album, “Lemonade.” The album alluded to cheating and strain in their marriage. According to the rapper, it just happened to work out that his album, 2017’s “4:44,” also addressed marital struggles.
“We were working on material together and it became ‘Lemonade,’ he said. “She went out and did her thing. It just felt like she should go first and she should share her truths with the world.”
Jay was asked about his reportedly estranged friendship with Kanye West, who in 2016 accused Beyonce of refusing to perform at MTV Video Music Awards if she didn’t win and said JAY-Z hadn’t called him after his wife, Kim Kardahian West, was robbed in Paris.
Although there is still tension, Jay said they are working through things. He descibes the relationship as complicated, but said he recently talked with him on the phone.
“I hit Kanye the other day, just to tell him, like, he’s my brother,” he said. “I love Kanye. I do. It's a complicated relationship with us.
“Kanye came into this business on my label. So I’ve always been like his big brother. 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,” he continued. “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.”
The full interview can be watched below or read at NYTimes.com.