When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Or a very public apology track, if you’re Jay Z, of course.
After Beyoncé released her stunning visual album last year – part genius PR stunt and part creative masterpiece (IDST) – any observer could be forgiven for thinking Queen Bey’s relationship with her husband and father of her three children, Blue Ivy and the twins, had gone a little sour. Bitter, you might say.
The musical tale of adultery, heartache, forgiveness and redemption achieved great critical acclaim, and for many women relayed the tensions between love and betrayal.
Although Lemonade left many wondering what was really going on behind closed doors in the Knowles-Carter residence, it was quickly followed by the Beyoncé track Die With You, which was released on the power couple’s 9th wedding anniversary in homage to their love, life and happiness.
So, all was well and we got on with our lives none the wiser. Until now.
Jay Z has today responded to the Lemonade allegations with the release of his new track, 4:44, and if song lyrics are to be trusted, Jay has pretty much confirmed that his wife sang the truth.
One lyric reads:
I apologize, often womanize/Took my child to be born/See through a woman’s eyes/Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles.
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 probably die with all this shame /’You did what with who?’/What good is a menage-a-trois when you have a soulmate/You risk that for Blue?
The next song on the album, Family Feud, features vocals from Beyoncé and includes the line, ‘Leave me alone, Becky’, in direct reference to Beyoncé’s iconic Sorry lyric about “Becky with the good hair”, who will go down in pop culture history as Carter’s other woman.
Of course artists use their music to express their emotions but – for a previously fiercely private couple like Beyoncé and Jay – you can’t help wonder whether they’d be better off talking this all through in a nice, private couple’s therapy session…
Then again, the money they’ll make from their musical output should cover the costs of counselling. Meanwhile, the rest of us are flitting between feelings of empathy and unadulterated gratitude for these new musical offerings.
Maybe Jay’s next track will reveal what really happened in that lift with Solange. Here’s hoping.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.