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Jay-Z Explained Why He Cheated on Beyoncé & How Music Saved Their Marriage

Though Beyoncé and Jay-Z are arguably THE king and queen of music today, the power couple is not without flaws. As fans learned from Bey’s album Lemonade and Jay’s long-awaited 4:44 that dropped shortly after, their marriage has not always been picture perfect. Both albums sparked rumors of infidelity, but it wasn’t until now that Jay-Z finally confirmed to The New York Times that he did, in fact, cheat on his goddess of a wife. 

While Lemonade gave us ladies enough one-liners to blow off any unworthy man, it also gave listeners a firsthand look into the most painful parts of the Carters’ relationship. Speaking to The New York Times, Jay-Z explained why he was unfaithful to his wife in the first place. He began, “You have to survive. So you go into survival mode and when you go into survival mode, what happens? You shut down all emotions. So, even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can’t connect. In my case, like, it’s deep. And then all the things that happen from there: infidelity.”

The rapper admitted the hurt that he caused and explained why he decided to fight for his marriage. “Most people walk away. Divorce rate is like 50 percent or something, because most people can’t see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then you have to deal with yourself. Most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself, and so you walk away.”

As BuzzFeed notes, both Lemonade and 4:44 addressed Jay-Z’s suspected infidelity, but there’s a reason behind that. Rather than ending their marriage, the Carters decided to work through the pain with the shared passion that brought them together in the first place: music. A joint album was in the works, but Jay-Z said it made more sense for Bey to drop her own album instead. 

“We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together. And then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. It was uncomfortable. But I was really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. At the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another’s craft. I think she’s amazing.”

Jay-Z’s interview proves that no relationship, or person, is perfect. As hard as this time had to be for the couple, it resulted in some great music and a seemingly stronger relationship. Beyonce sang it herself, “Me and my baby, we gon’ be alright, we gon’ live a good life.” As always, Queen B was right. 

Courtney is a Pop Culture Blogger for Her Campus National and contributor to the Her Campus Marist College chapter. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, is an avid feminist and eventual professional journalist.
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