JAY-Z got super real in his latest interview with The New York Times. In the piece he talks about everything from his latest album, 4:44, to his relationship with his mother. He also, obviously, talks about Beyoncé and the struggles they faced as a couple. But, many aren't here for JAY-Z's comments about his relationship issues with Beyoncé, because while he gets vulnerable, they think he shouldn't have wronged Beyoncé in the first place.
In the NYT interview, JAY-Z admitted that he committed "infidelity" within their marriage because he "shut down emotionally." Later in the piece, he commented again on their marriage and said:
"You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something 'cause most people can’t see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself."
What the rapper is basically saying here is that the divorce rate is so high because many couples can't move past their issues. And in JAY and Bey's case, the issue here dealt with his infidelity. He had to look inside himself to try and realize how he could have caused Beyoncé pain through his actions, which sounds as though it was incredibly hard for him to do.
It is important that JAY-Z is taking accountability for his actions and discussing how he has bettered himself as a result. In the NYT piece, the interviewer, Dean Baquet, who is the executive editor of the publication, said that 4:44 feels like a "therapy session" of sorts. When Baquet asked the singer if he has been in therapy before, he said that he has and admitted that he "grew so much from the experience" and that it's helped him connect to his emotions especially concerning certain events in his life.
Some people still weren't having his comments in this piece, though. Many took issue with his words mainly because, while his comments were introspective, that doesn't excuse the fact that he was unfaithful in the first place. And these fans weren't afraid to voice their criticisms of JAY-Z's comments on Twitter.
One user still noted that it was important that JAY-Z did make these "emotional epiphanies." But, they also took issue with the fact that his display of emotional maturity had to have come as a result of causing Beyoncé pain, which wouldn't have happened had he simply treated her with respect in the first place.
Another Twitter user also criticized JAY-Z's display of vulnerability in the interview. It is important that he was vulnerable — as he said in the interview "the strongest thing a man can do is cry" and talks about the importance of therapy. But, this user didn't agree with what he considers the strongest thing a man can do. Instead, the strongest thing to do in their eyes involves treating their partner (AKA Beyoncé in this case) with respect and decency. Obviously, he can't go back and change what happened, but it would have been better if he hadn't cheated in the first place.
This user brought up the fact that JAY-Z is old enough to know that there will be consequences to cheating on your partner. They're basically saying that he should have known long before that this would have been a mistake and could have caused pain to his wife.
Another user noted the struggles that existed within JAY-Z and Beyoncé's relationship. They even said, "infidelity wreaks havoc on your body and mental wellbeing." [sic] and said that, while he has realized the pain he caused now, he was with Bey for quite some time and probably should have realized the consequences to his actions way before. This user brings up the fact that Beyoncé experienced miscarriages, as evidenced by lyrics in JAY-Z's own album, 4:44.
He says in the titular track, "I've seen the innocence leave your eyes/I still mourn this death, I apologize for all the stillborns/'Cause I wasn't present, your body wouldn't accept it". What this user could be insinuating, and what the rapper insinuates himself through these lyrics, is that the stress stemming from dealing with JAY-Z's infidelity could have had led to a possible miscarriage. While he is introspective about the situation now, as evidenced by his mature NYT interview, where was that level of maturity before any of this even happened?
One Twitter user said that they were, in particular, angered that JAY-Z brought up the divorce rate. They said, "I'm honestly mad he brought up the divorce rate. I hate when these men who royally f*ck up and cause their partners so much pain wanna act like a special flower because SHE decided to forgive". They also didn't take kindly to JAY-Z causing Beyoncé any kind of pain after making a big mistake, which mirrored how many felt about his comments.
JAY-Z did say that he and Beyoncé are in a better place right now, elsewhere in the NYT interview. He said that the two "were using their art almost like a therapy session" so that they could get to that place. So, if they are good after everything that has happened, then that's great for them. Still, like many have noted, it's unfortunate that this infidelity issue even happened in the first place.