Jay-Z: My marriage ‘wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth’

The boys are back in town! Leonardo DiCaprio, Orlando Bloom, Tobey Maguire and friends go for a stroll around Manhattan's East Village neighborhood

It’s now clear that Jay-Z’s 4:44 album/visual experience project is a companion piece to Beyonce’s Lemonade. Beyonce’s Lemonade explored black womanhood. Jay-Z’s 4:44 explores black manhood. They are meant to be two halves of the same whole, a story from both perspectives of what it’s like to be black in America, and what it’s like to be two halves of arguably the most famous African-American couple in the world. Parts of 4:44 are still leaking out from Tidal, including this new “mini-documentary” called “Footnotes for ‘4:44’.” This includes spoken-word/half-interview pieces with people like Mahershala Ali, Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar, Jesse Williams and more. Jay-Z talked about his marriage too, and offered a glimpse of what it took for him to save his marriage:

JAY-Z has released another mini-documentary for his new album, 4:44, and the latest clip is very much a confessional about rumored infidelity his wife Beyoncé first laid bare on Lemonade.

“This is my real life. I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth and it starts cracking. Things start happening that the public can see,” JAY-Z explained about his marriage. “Then we had to get to a point of, ‘Okay, tear this down and let’s start from the beginning … It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he continued.

The rapper also admitted that fighting for his relationship had been more challenging to go through than his childhood in Marcy Projects and being shot at.

“What is happening to my body right now? Did I just say … ‘Don’t leave’? All this is new for me,” he said, recalling a vacation with Beyoncé during which he begged his wife not to leave. Later, JAY-Z discussed the reasons why he played “4:44” for Beyoncé before anyone else. “We just got to a place where, in order for this to work, this can’t be fake. Not one ounce. I’m not saying it wasn’t uncomfortable because obviously it was,” he said.

[From People]

“We built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth…” I don’t hate that Jay-Z is talking about all of this, but I wish he would be more direct. I feel like he’s saying that their marriage was built on love… but it was built on other things too, like his lies about fidelity. He and Beyonce got together when she was very young, and Jay was either her first serious relationship or one of the first serious relationships in her life. Is it possible that Jay is making some kind of reference to the idea that they really just got together in the first place as a way to advance their careers, to become a power couple, to bring in more money? Or is this all about his wandering eye? Or something else?

As for what the other dudes say…Jesse Williams addressed the rumors that he cheated on his wife with Minka Kelly. Jesse says: “I was in a relationship 13 years, 13 real years, not 5 years, not 7 years – 13 years. All of a sudden motherf—ers are writing think-pieces that I somehow threw a 13-year relationship…Like, the most painful experience I’ve had in my life like with a person I’ve loved with all of my heart – that I threw a person and my family in the trash because a girl I work with is cute.” Yeah, but didn’t he do just that??

Photos courtesy of Getty, Backgrid.

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45 Responses to “Jay-Z: My marriage ‘wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth’”

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  1. Cupcake says:

    I wonder how Beyoncé feels about him coming clean publicly?

    • BJ says:

      She approved every song according to his producer.

      • Ramona says:

        She even helped get some of the samples cleared. Neither Lemonade nor 4:44 is an ambush album.

    • scar says:

      She came clean first. Did you see lemonade? You should.
      Also Beyoncé approved every song on the album? The entire thing was recorded in her studio

      • Cupcake says:

        Right but in Lemonade Beyoncé does not admit to cheating on Jay, but it seems that Jay is now admitting to the world that he cheated?

      • Nicole says:

        Well Beyonce outed the cheating in Lemonade. This is not new information.

    • GiBee says:

      Nothing about this was done without a huge amount of forethought. Beyonce is fine with it – it will make her money. It’s not like she hasn’t been involved with every step of it.

    • QueenB says:

      They are both using it for their careers, no way is that a surprise to her. Without her ok nothing would have been said.

  2. Naddie says:

    Just like most of marriages.

  3. Thebees says:

    Sounds like he did what was best for him…. and his family by fixing whatever problems they had. Smart man.

  4. BJ says:

    Where is the proof that Jesse threw his relationship away for some cute co star?

    • i dont know her says:


    • AsIf says:

      exactly what I was thinking. I mean everybody hates him because of the rumour, but is there any legit proof?

    • Ramona says:

      There isnt proof, just idle speculation.

    • Nicole says:

      There is none. Just rumors basically

    • QueenB says:

      How often do you have proof in gossip stories? The only cheating story I can remember with proof was Kristen Stewart and thats because no one really does it that publically.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        ….And Sienna Miller.
        I also see it as proof that a celebrity cheated/was the cheatee if the allegations are very public, but neither party denies the rumor.

    • blogdis says:

      Actually , tHere are fresh pics of Jesse and Minka i as we speak coming home just yesterday from a movie date see people , tmz
      Other than time stamped video of them in the act , There is proof and there is compelling circumstantial evidence
      1) this is Minkas wheel house she has a type light skin , biracial Hispanic men and whether they are already in a relationship seems immaterial to her she was infamously named as the other women in Donald Faison ( scrubs) divorce and Jeter was seeing some one else when they started
      2) regardless of how long Jesse was separated, he quickly filed for divorce like days after the Blind gossip item came out .IMO this timing was really coincidental and seemed to be damage control for the ShIt that was about to hit the fan
      3) Minka is about as vapid and self centered as many typical white starlets , all of a sudden a few mths back she been all wokety , woke posting on SM About police brutality, black lives and other social issues when she has NEVER done so before …I wonder why ?

      So yeh I never personally saw them in the act but this and other things lead me to believe he is a cheat which would technically still apply with whatever timeline as he is not yet divorced

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        We have proof that they’re together now, but the question is whether or not they were dating/sleeping with each other before Jesse was separated from his wife. (I’ve never agreed with the idea that separated people have an obligation to not get with anybody else until the divorce is finalized). Minka may have cheated in the past with someone else, but was Jesse open to cheating on someone he’d been with for 13 years and has a kid with? It’s possible.

    • KB says:

      Are you saying there isn’t proof he’s with Minka or there isn’t proof he threw away his relationship for her? Because there are photos of them on a date last night.

      • blogdis says:

        @ KB
        Exactly I mean what ” proof ” do people expect to get here ??? Minka was once linked to someone that she swore she wasn’t and she denied it vehemently not a peep denying her and Jesse
        You would think that with all this mess he would lay low nay bro all up in her Instagram liking pics etc and they are now seen out on a date like recently
        LOL!I swear de Nile is not just a river in Egypt

  5. Nicole says:

    I’ll save my commentary until I view the video but 4:44 is stellar. Its more than Jay-Z and Bey. Its (like you said) about being black in america. The commentary alone was enough to spawn think pieces for months.
    Can’t comment on the “companion part” to lemonade until I watch the supplementary videos

    • Carrie says:

      I haven’t seen any of either one but now I applaud them both. This is what art can do – elevate people and help us come together. Too much of human life is hidden, mistakes repeated, families traumatized because people are told to hide what real life is like. And these two have blown the doors off for us all.

      Im buying both now and really looking forward to seeing and hearing both. Trauma in my life prevented me even considering it but now I think it may help. These people deserve all their success.

  6. Radley says:

    This is interesting. It’s sure to be a hit. It’s also brilliant marketing. Bey and Jay are very clever. Or they have a great team working with them. The question still lingers: Is this tale of relationship drama real or fake? I know some younger celebs are in PR relationships and stage drama at convenient times. Like when they need promo. I believe Bey and Jay are legit as far as their relationship.

    With Jesse Williams, who knows? He could have genuinely had big problems in his marriage and decided to tap out. I don’t know all the dirty details but marriages fall apart all the time for lots of reasons, not necessarily a wandering eye.

    • scar says:

      I don’t even know what to say about Jesse. Looks to me like he’s trying to save face. He fooled with that cute girl. And did he have to refer to her as cute? Smh

    • WeAreAllMadeofStars says:

      Yay! I always wondered if I was literally the only person on earth who wondered to myself whether Jay Z dutifully came home, put on some pajamas with feet and played endless hours of Super Nintendo. It would serve them both well to advance this melodrama narrative. It makes an aging rap star look gangsta and an aging pop star sympathetic and relatable in a non-ridiculous grown up kind of way.

  7. detritus says:

    I dunno, Jay rubs me wrong. Probably because I get sick of giving out cookies for dudes to ‘grow’ into being decent humans.. Maybe if I liked Bey less I would be more forgiving, which is silly, because shes forgiven him, and she knows more about thei stituation. It just feels like one of those times you are pleading with your gf not to go back to that tool.

  8. Scal says:

    I mean referring to her as a ‘cute girl’ maybe isn’t the best route. Clearly he thinks Minka is hot. Other wise why not say co worker? Colleague?

    And the stuff he’s been saying about the custody side of things makes me give him a side eye as well.

  9. Nope. says:

    Not a fan of either, but from an outsiders perspective, their relationship looks more like a working/business one than a personal, romantic one.

  10. Cleo says:

    For some reason, Jay, the constant talk about how you cheated on your talented, beautiful, way-too-good-for-you wife isn’t making me sympathize with you. At all. Total f*ckboy behavior.

    • Shijel says:

      Thank you. People do learn and grow, but especially with men the ‘growing’ process is always spun as a redemption story. I think it also has something to do with men being expected to be crappy by default, and they get away with it too because ‘boys will be boys’, and when one does decide to grow as a person, he gets lavished with encouragement and positivity.

      No cookies for sh-tty dudes for attempting being decent from me. You don’t get pats on the back for doing the bare minimum to be a decent person.

      I also wonder what is going through the mind of a 31-year-old who’s pursuing someone in their late teens (18, 19).

      • Naddie says:

        YES! Men are excused because they’re men, so being kind/good/noble is like they’re fighting against their “mean nature”. I’m sick of this too, because I see it everywhere.

    • Ozogirl says:

      And I bet he will do it again too. And she will stay…again, because it’s all she knows.

  11. Miss S says:

    Well, I’m probably one of the few who doesn’t care about any of them. I will listen to her songs if it plays on the radio and it makes me wanna dance but that’s pretty much it. Everything about them comes across as contrived, super controlled, all about their brand. Her photoshopped Instagram photos, the clues about their private life they use to sell their work by getting people curious and allowing speculation… I don’t doubt their artistry and especially Beyonce’s role in society as a pop star who embodies empowerment, but bc I feel there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors going on I can’t really feel connected to any of it.

    • Naddie says:

      Add me in. As a white foreign woman I won’t say a word about her speaking of being a black woman in US, but as a long time fan of her voice and dance skills, I agree with you completely. Nothing feels organic or sincere, specially after listening to Erykah Badu, Fiona Apple or Lauryn Hill.

    • Beth says:

      Me too. I was never a fan of them and I don’t even know one of their songs. They never seemed to be a real couple who were actually in love. They might just stay together for their brand because everyone knows they’re a well-known couple who lots of people admire

  12. Bitsy says:

    He was her second serious relationship (1st was Lyndell), and they both have fooled around a lot before they married. When Bey was with DC she dated a few industry guys, but she realized they’d never have the status and power Jay would have. But her cheating will never, ever come out because its against their image. Jay is more of a romantic than he portrays, and Bey is far more shrewd, ruthless, and calculating than her image conveys. Bey has known since highschool that she wanted to be famous and powerful and she knows the importance of marrying well to maintain what she worked for…

    • QueenB says:

      Yeah there is no way Bey is faithful all the time. It would have been a better and newer thing to make this about her infidelity and him forgiving her.

    • African Sun says:

      I am team Bey since day 1 but your assessment is correct.

  13. me says:

    So private for so many years…now all of a sudden they are so public? All for sales and money.