Jay-Z has addressed his rumoured “infidelity” for the first time, explaining the roots of his “emotional shutdown”.
In a rare in-depth interview with The New York Times T Magazine, the rap mogul opened up about his latest album, his personal life and his political beliefs.
After many rumours and a few songs hinting at a possible marital crisis between the rapper and his wife Beyonce, Jay-Z confirmed them and explained its roots.
He said music acted as “therapy” and said he went “into survival mode” in order to hide his “pain”.
“You have to survive. 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 said.
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“In my case, like it’s, it’s deep. And then all the things happen from there: infidelity…” he added.
In his latest album 4:44, the rapper opens up about his personal struggles, while at the same time addressing tabloid issues like his quarrels with Kanye West and his relationship with wife and children.
“The strongest thing a man can do is cry,” he told the newspaper’s style magazine.
“To expose your feelings, to be vulnerable in front of the world. That’s real strength. You know, you feel like you gotta be this guarded person. That’s not real. It’s fake.”
His wife Beyonce also released a personal album of her own, the critically-acclaimed Lemonade, which Jay says worked out as an uncoordinated way to save their marriage.
“It happened – we were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together,” he said.
“There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album’. I was right there the entire time.”
The rapper said that addressing such personal issues in their albums made the couple “very uncomfortable”, but “the best place to be is in the eye of the hurricane”.
“The best place is right in the middle of the pain,” he said.
“And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations,” he added.
“You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50% 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.
“So, you know, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself.
“And so you walk away.”