In 2014, when a video of Solange Knowles, Beyonce’s sister arguing vehemently with rapper Jay-Z in the elevator went viral, the public took it as an ominous sign that all was not well at the Carter’s ville. Not that it was unlikely for couples to have a third party wade into their marital issues, the fact that it was Jay-Z and Beyonce, the power couple in the American music industry, made it juicy news. However, having shrouded their private life from the prying eyes of the media, they allowed pundits to come up with all manner of stories while keeping mum about the rocky situation in their homestead.
In 2016, Beyonce launched her lemonade album which tracks suggested infidelity, despite the racial and political undertones in its leading track ‘Formation’. It was nothing like her previous self-titled album ‘Beyonce’ released in 2013, where she seemingly professed undying love to her husband in the track ‘Drunk in Love’. Jay-Z was also featured in that track. She further provided a salacious peek into their sex life in the song ‘Partition’. But in Lemonade, the agony and disbelief in her voice were loud when she sang ‘Pray You Catch Me’. The song suggested that she caught a whiff of her husband’s infidelity.
As if reassuring herself that there’s no better woman out there, she let it out in ‘Hold On’. In ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’, an angry Beyonce who probably had found out that indeed, unfaithfulness breeds in her home, screamed her lungs out fiercely, using the backdrop of her being an independent woman to hide her hurt. The same was replicated in tracks like ‘Sorry’ and ‘6-inch’. ‘Love Drought’ carried undertones of contemplation on whether to forgive or not which sort of ended in ‘All Night’, a reconciliatory track.
This year, Jay-Z came up with his own confessional album with lots of tributes to O.J Simpson in his thirteenth studio album titled 4:44. Like his wife, he talked about his relationship.
In retrospect, the Carters used their albums as a therapeutic session which Jay-Z confessed to Dean Baquet of the New York Times in an interview. In the interview released shortly after Jay-Z was announced the leading man in the 2018 Grammy nominations, the singer revealed that he and his wife didn’t set out to make open confessional albums.
“It didn’t happen in that way. We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together.”
The 21-time Grammy winner said the albums made them quite uncomfortable.
“We were sitting right in the middle of the pain, and it was uncomfortable. We had a lot of conversations. I was very proud of the music she made and she was really proud of the art I released.
“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.”
It was the first time the artiste will talk openly about the problems in his marriage in an interview. The couple married in 2008 after dating for six years. They had their first child, Blue Ivy in 2012 and on June 13, this year, they had a set of twins named Rumi and Sir Carter.