JAY-Z is an open book these days.
Sitting down with T: The New York Times Styles Magazine executive editor Dean Baquet, the 47-year-old opened up about the therapeutic process of facing his infidelity after cheating on Beyoncé, race in America, and his strained friendship with Kanye West.
Speaking on making a joint album at the same time Bey was creating Lemonade, the 4:44 artist said:
“We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together. And then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became. There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album.’ I was right there the entire time.”
Wow, we really need to get our hands on that joint album…
When asked if their individual projects caused them pain listening back, the rapper admitted:
“Of course. And both very, very uncomfortable, but […] the best place in the, you know, hurricane is like in the middle of it. We were sitting in the eye of that hurricane … The best place is right in the middle of the pain. And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations. You know. [I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. And, you know, at the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another’s craft. I think she’s amazing. 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. So, you know, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away.”
As far as the impact going to therapy in general has had on him, JAY said he’s much more evolved in how he reacts to people:
“I grew so much from the experience. But I think the most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it. Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at such a … you’re at such an advantage. You know, you realize that if someone’s racist toward you, it ain’t about you. It’s about their upbringing and what happened to them, and how that led them to this point. You know, most bullies bully. It just happen. Oh, you got bullied as a kid so you trying to bully me. I understand. And once I understand that, instead of reacting to that with anger, I can provide a softer landing and maybe, ‘Aw, man, is you O.K.?’ I was just saying there was a lot of fights in our neighborhood that started with ‘What you looking at? Why you looking at me? You looking at me?’ And then you realize: ‘Oh, you think I see you. You’re in this space where you’re hurting, and you think I see you, so you don’t want me to look at you. And you don’t want me to see you.”
Because before, connecting wasn’t always so easy:
“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 … In my case, like it’s, it’s deep. And then all the things happen from there: infidelity…”
Speaking of connection, JAY also got real about his relationship with Kanye, which is currently on the rocks:
“I [talked to] Kanye the other day, just to tell him, like, he’s my brother. I love Kanye. I do. It’s a complicated relationship with us … Kanye came into this business on my label. So I’ve always been like his big brother. And we’re both entertainers. It’s always been like a little underlying competition with your big brother. And we both love and respect each other’s art, too. So it’s like, we both — everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. You know what I’m saying? And then there’s like a lot of other factors that play in it. But … we gonna always be good.”
When asked about the tension between the two, the Brooklyn native revealed:
“That happens. In the long relationship, you know, hopefully when we’re 89 we look at this six months or whatever time and we laugh at that. There’s gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through. And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, ‘These are the things that I’m uncomfortable with. These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel.’ I’m sure he feels that I’ve done things to him as well. … I’m not a perfect human being by no stretch.”
Work it out, bbs!
You can watch the full in-depth interview (below)!
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]