Jay-Z Adresses Rumors Of Cheating On Beyonce, Eric Benet On New Album ‘4:44’
Rapper and business mogul Jay-Z (who recently changed the stylization of his name to include the hyphen) released his new album 4:44 on Tidal Friday. The rapper addresses the rumors surrounding his infidelity on several songs.
After his wife Beyonce spoke extensively about Jay-Z’s infidelity on her critically-acclaimed album Lemonade, many expected that the rapper’s new album, his first in four years, would address the situation in a similar manner. And in fact, it does.
“You egged Solange on, knowin’ all along all you had to say you was wrong,” Jay-Z raps on “Kill Jay Z.” The incident he is referring to occurred in 2014 when video emerged of Beyonce’s sister, Solange Knowles, punching the rapper repeatedly in an elevator as Beyonce watched on. Many speculated that the beating was related to his infidelity.
“You almost went Eric Benét, let the baddest girl in the world get away / I didn’t even know what else to say / N****, never go Eric Benét,” Jay-Z continues, making reference to when Benét cheated on his then-wife Halle Berry.
Jay-Z makes another reference to a man cheating when he says, “I don’t even know what you woulda done / In the Future, other n**** playing football with your son.” The line is speculated to be in reference to rapper Future‘s break-up with Ciara and her subsequent marriage to football star Russell Wilson.
Using the same language his wife used on the Lemonade hit, “Sorry”, Jay-Z raps on the song “Family Feud”, “I’ll f*** up a good thing if you let me / Let me alone Becky! / A man who don’t take care of his family can’t be rich.” Beyonce used the name Becky to refer to the woman Jay-Z cheated on her with.
Jay-Z also brings his five-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter into the music when reflecting on how his infidelity could, and maybe should, have ruined his family.
“And if my children knew, I don’t even know what I would do / If they ain’t look at me the same, I would prolly 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?” he wonders.
The most honest lyrics appear on the song’s title track, “4:44” – which happens to be the length of the song – in which Jay frankly says, “I don’t deserve you.”
Like Lemonade, 4:44 is available exclusively on TIDAL, the streaming service owned by Jay-Z. While his wife’s album was soon made available for purchase and streaming through other services, it is unclear when, or if, 4:44 will make the same leap.