Jay-Z and Beyonce have both dropped hints that the rapper cheated on his wife on their albums "4:44" and "Lemonade," with lyrics that point to a rocky patch in the power couple's marriage, but now Jay-Z has finally spoken frankly about the issue.
In an interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, Jay-Z said his painful childhood has affected who he is today, including how he behaves with women.
"You have to survive," he said. "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 added, "In my case, like it's, it's deep. And then all the things happen from there: infidelity ..."
Jay-Z said of "4:44" and "Lemonade, "We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together." He emphasized that they worked side-by-side on the albums and admitted that the experience was painful for them.
"And both very, very uncomfortable, but the best place in the, you know, hurricane is like in the middle of it," he said.
On the track "4:44,""Look, I apologize, often womanize. Took for my child to be born, see through a woman's eyes."
He also talked about his children in the same song and said, "If they ain't look at me the same, I would probably die with all the shame. 'You did what with who?' What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? 'You risked that for Blue?'"
Meanwhile on Beyonce's "Sorry," she sings, "Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home. Today I regret the night I put that ring on ... He only want me when I'm not there. He better call Becky with the good hair." On the song "Family Feud," Jay-Z raps, "Yeah, I'll f**k up a good thing if you let me. Let me alone, Becky."
"4:44" is seen as an apology to Beyonce.