Jay-Z shocked many of his fans and contemporaries with his brutal honesty and revealing introspection in the “Footnotes for 4:44” short film, which features appearances by Kenya Barris, Chris Paul, Kendrick Lamar, Jesse Williams, Omari Hardwick, Anthony Anderson, Aziz Ansari, Chris Rock, Rel Smith, Will Smith and Meek Mill, among others.
Hov and the guest celebs talked about their relationships and backgrounds. But Jay-Z took it to another level when he detailed how his “happy” marriage with Beyoncé was, at first, a facade, and how things went wrong before getting right.
“What I thought when I met my dad was ‘I’m free to love now.’ But how are you going to do it? You want to do it. I get it. But how are you going to do it? You’ve never done this before. No one informed you how to do this. You don’t even have the tools to do it. But you’re going to do it because you’re ready. That’s why I say ‘you mature faster than me, I wasn’t ready.’ This is my real life.
“I just ran into this place, and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth. And then it starts cracking. Then things start happening that the public can see.
“Then we had to get to a point of ‘OK, tear this down and let’s start from the beginning.’ … it’s hard. Remember I’m from Marcy Projects, I’ve been shot at, all kinds of ish but nothing is harder than this. By far It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And most people. Most humans, us, we’re not willing to put ourselves through that. Most people give up.”
Jay also speaks about a time when he was on a boat and how he surprised himself when he was upset Bey had to go.
“I was on a boat and she was like ‘Man I don’t even feel like this. What is happening to my body right now? And I was like ‘don’t go.’ I was like ‘Did I just say [that]?’ All this is new to me. Like, ‘don’t leave.'”
Jay finally had to come to the realization that he and his wife had to get very real with one another if they were going to save their marriage.
“We’ve been in that space where we got to a place where we were like in order for this to work it can’t be fake, not one ounce. I’m not saying it wasn’t uncomfortable, because obviously, it was, but because we’ve been doing it so long it was less uncomfortable.”
What do you think about Hov admitting his vulnerabilities and shortcomings? Were you surprised?