Watch Jay-Z Explain Why Beyonce & He Are Still Going Strong After Everything That’s Happened
In a much anticipated interview that aired Saturday night, rapper and business mogul Jay-Z candidly told CNN's Van Jones that Beyonce and he survived their much-discussed marital discord because of a lot of hard work. He wanted to "break the cycle," he explained, by confronting emotions that weren't necessarily easy to face. And that's only part of the reason why the power couple is still going so strong, even after facing infidelity.
"You took an unprecedented stand to fight for this marriage," Jones prodded Jay-Z, who was very ready to tackle the impending inquiry.
"Well, it's my soulmate. It's the person I love, you know?" Jay-Z responded. "You can be in love with someone, you can love someone, but if you haven't experienced love and you don't have the tools to move forward, you're going to have complications, period."
Back in 2016, Beyonce released the album Lemonade, which appeared to be about a cheating spouse. Married to each other since 2008, Jay-Z was the obvious suspect, and fans jumped on the theory that he had betrayed Beyonce's trust.
While the couple hasn't explicitly acknowledged what Lemonade's lyrics seemed to clearly point to, there have been some major hints. One of those hints was another album — Jay-Z's 4:44 released in the summer of 2017. That album featured what seemed to be a newly-redemptive Jay-Z, reflecting on healing a marriage that faced the prospect of failure due to his own transgressions.
"You can either address it or you can pretend until it blows up at some point," Jay-Z told Jones. "And you know, for us we chose to fight for our love, for our family, to give our kids a different outcome. You see, break that cycle." While he never explicitly says he cheated on Beyonce, he doesn't deny it. Instead, he focuses on the characterization of he and Bey's relationship and how they worked together to heal.
One thing he did take issue with was when when Van Jones described Jay-Z and Beyonce has a "celebrity couple," Jay-Z intervened and corrected him. "We were never a celebrity couple," Jay-Z said. "We were a couple that just happened to be celebrities."
So, unsurprisingly, when asked how he and Beyonce did move forward from their issues, Jay-Z's advice was practical — the kind of advice any couple might take, celebrity or not. "The best apology is changed behavior," he said to Jones.
But, that's not all. According to Jay-Z, in order to move forward, you have to dwell in the consequences of your actions for a bit.
"Also, you have to acknowledge, acknowledge the pain," he said. "You have to let that person have their say. [You have to] get on the floor, get on a mattresses, and you have to really work for it and really be honest."
But, he recognized, that's not always so simple. Watching your partner's pain, and realizing that you may have caused it, is more difficult than it sounds.
"It takes a while," he said. "It's hard. It's very difficult to say to listen to that sort of pain. And you just have to be strong enough to go through that because on the other side it's beautiful — in our case."
The world may never know what, precisely, happened between Beyonce and Jay-Z — that is, no one will know unless the couple ever decides to divulge the details. (They're excellent at keeping their private lives under lock and key, after all.) But that's okay, really, because the pair reveal so much through their art and are so candid about the lessons they learned while navigating troubled waters between each other that the last thing they do is leave their fans wanting.