Look, I don’t know if Jay Z really cheated on Beyoncé — only they can confirm that — but from the beginning, I’ve argued that Jay Z and Beyoncé’s marriage is fine. Or at least is going to be fine.
Sure, they’ve probably had some relationship struggles. They’ve likely sought out couples counseling at times (and there’s no shame in that), but in the end, through all the cheating rumors, elevator assaults and Lemonade speculation, I never once thought they were breaking up. In fact, I thought Beyoncé was using her songs, tours and videos to make people think there were problems because a) she’s a marketing genius, b) it’s been proved time and time again that drama is what the people want and c) she continues to make money off of being raw and real, whether the accusations in the material are true or just the emotions behind them. What does she care if people have the wrong understanding of her love life?
But as news broke today that she declared her undying love to her hubby of eight years before performing her final song “Halo” on the Formation tour, I thought: Gosh, it must really suck sometimes to be Jay Z.
Now, before you roll your eyes, think about it. When you and your significant other are having issues and word gets around, a stream of messages from friends, family and Facebook acquaintances — who you then unfriend because there is no need for them to know about your life — flood in, right?
“Hey man, heard about things. You doing OK?”
“Just wanted to let you know I’m here if you ever need to chat.”
“OMG! I hope you and [insert name] are OK! What happened?! Did you really commit whatever indiscretion all our friends are talking about?!”
“You’re a total jerk for screwing [insert name] over like that!”
It. Is. Annoying! When you’re going through relationship problems — if you’re going through relationship problems — the last thing you want to do is answer other people’s questions, because it’s none of their damn business. They should just grab their noses and stick them elsewhere. When Lemonade was released, I can’t even imagine what Jay Z’s phone looked like. I’m sure Beyoncé and Jay Z had warned their closest family and friends about what was going on (sharing what was true and false… after they all signed a non-disclosure agreement, of course), but Jay Z has made thousands and thousands of connections in his career. You’re telling me when “Becky with the good hair” was being searched for, Rihanna, Big Sean, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, ex-BFF Kanye West, Pharrell, producers, designers, photographers — none of the people he’s worked with in the past reached out? I doubt that. Famous or not, humans are nosy AF and at the very least, want to send words of support. Unless you're Kanye, who probably would have said something to the effect of, “I'ma let you finish, but you should go back to your wife.”
And yes, celebrities Google themselves. They look at Twitter and Instagram. I’m sure Jay Z is a tough guy with very thick skin, but it’d be annoying to see people spewing hate at you when they don’t even know what they’re talking about.
Even more, what if Jay Z did cheat? At this point, if he did, I'm sure he and Beyoncé have come to terms with it and are moving forward (and according to an E! insider, that's exactly what they've done), but there's still shame, regret and guilt you carry after a mistake like that. If he were starting to forgive himself, wouldn't the constant scrutiny and criticism caused by Lemonade cause anyone to regress? Sure, some would say he deserves to feel bad, but at the end of the day, if Beyoncé and Jay are going to make it work, they both have to forgive and move on.
Regardless, Jay Z knew all along what was going to happen. He actually reviewed and approved all the songs before they were released, and reportedly understands that art — and specifically Beyoncé's art — is all about self-expression, so he was good with risking his reputation for her success.
On the other hand, he's Jay Z. He’s got a key to New York, made millions and millions (maybe billions?) of dollars, is married to one of the most badass women on earth and doesn’t appear to partake in social media — so maybe he really doesn’t care what we think. Heck, if I were him, I would have just cuddled up into Beyoncé’s bosom in a bathtub filled with $1000 dollar bills and let the world talk.
I don’t know if we’ll ever learn what really went down between Bey and Jay, but I don’t know if it’s our business anyway. We’re all relating to Lemonade in our own personal ways and at the end of the day, that’s all good art is really about.
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