It's hard to keep up with the long list of Beyoncé and JAY-Z rumors, which have included everything from Illuminati conspiracy theories to the constant claims they're getting divorced. But Jay finally put one of those rumors to rest, one that should make fans very excited. In an interview with The New York Times' T Magazine, JAY-Z confirmed the Beyoncé joint album is very real and gave some insight into why the project was so beneficial to their marriage.
Both Bey and Jay have made albums that delve into the good, the bad, and the ugly of their relationship. That's why the magazine asked why the most famous couple in music would want to be so honest. According to JAY-Z, the joint album, which was rumored to be in the works since 2014, kind of just happened without either of them realizing it. "We were using our art almost like a therapy session," he told T Magazine. "And we started making music together."
Before either of them was working on their own solo projects, the two actually started working on an album together. "And then the music she was making at that time was further along," Jay explained. "So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on." He says that they "still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became." Instead of one album, Beyoncé released Lemonade in 2016 and then Jay released 4:44 a year later.
"There was never a point where it was like, 'I’m making this album,'" Jay said. "I was right there the entire time." Recording these deeply personal songs together wasn't always easy, JAY-Z admits it was "very, very uncomfortable," only to later add, "but the best place is right in the middle of the pain."
JAY-Z doesn't say if or when this joint album could end up on Tidal, but he does imply that it was a pivotal point in their marriage. Making music together forced them to take a closer look at themselves. "You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves," he told T Magazine. "The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself."
In the end, both of them decided to continue recording together and fans are probably happy they did — JAY-Z definitely is. "[I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released," he said. "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."
What's even more amazing is that the results of that pain earned JAY-Z eight Grammy nominations — the most of any artist this year. One of those nominations is for Jay and Bey's song "Family Feud," a track that has the rapper opening up about his infidelity, which he confirmed in The New York Times interview. He even references Beyoncé's "Becky with the good hair" lyric on "Sorry," rapping "Yeah, I'll f*ck up a good thing if you let me / Let me alone, Becky."
Of course, Beyoncé's presence is all over JAY-Z's new album and his was all over hers. When 4:44 was released, E! News reported that a source close to the couple claimed, "Jay was involved in the creation of Lemonade and knew every song Bey was going to release," and he offered the same courtesy to her. But, now with Jay's latest reveal, it's clear the two didn't have to run these songs by one another because they were together while they were being made.
It's why winning the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance for "Family Feud" would be even sweeter for the couple. Not only could it be the fifth Grammy the two have won together, but it will be for a song that the two put all of themselves into. A joint award for a project that now we know was a joint effort.