A lot of folks are still reacting to Jay-Z’s recent interview with New York Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet, especially since he rarely gets as candid as he did.
During the extended conversation, among other things, the legendary rapper talked about cheating on his wife Beyoncé, which he also alluded to on his album “4:44.”
“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 the shame / ‘You did what with who?’ What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? / You risked that for Blue?” rhymed Jay in the song.
Bey also suggested that Jay-Z strayed from their marriage on her “Lemonade” album, and she threatened to leave him because of it.
“This is your final warning, you know I give you life / If you try this sh– again, you gon’ lose your wife,” she sung on the cut “Don’t Hurt Yourself.”
In fact, before Beyoncé suggested that Jay cheated on her and prior to that infamous elevator fight with Solange in 2014, it looked like Bey and Jay’s marriage lacked cracks, picture perfect and straight out of a hip-hop fairy tale.
In another part of the interview, the Brooklyn rapper said a tumultuous upbringing forced him to emotionally disengage at times, which made it easy for him to stray in relationships.
“You have to survive. So you go into survival mode, and when you go into survival mode, what happens? You shut down all emotions,” he explained. “So even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can’t connect … In my case, like, it’s deep and then all the things happen from there: Infidelity.”
Surely, other men have said a tough childhood has caused them to emotionally shut down and cheat. But what happens when a man also has wealth, celebrity and power like Jay-Z? Is it even harder for people like that to remain faithful?
According to a team of researchers, the answer is yes, and it all has to do with a sense of entitlement.
In a study that was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, scientists found that straight men who are considered richer than those around them may have a feeling of entitlement to be with whomever they want, regardless of relationship status. Men who are richer are also more likely to criticize their woman’s appearance.
“Results of Study 1 showed that men who were primed to feel that they had relatively more money were less satisfied with their partners’ physical attractiveness than those primed to feel that they had less money, suggesting that the subjective feeling of having more or less money may affect men’s preferences regarding the physical appearance of a mate in a long-term relationship,” researchers wrote. “Interestingly, this difference was not significant for women.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, people took to Twitter in large numbers after Jay’s interview surfaced and voiced all kinds of opinions.
Right off the bat, a lot of women seemed angered that the rapper would cheat on Bey, and they couldn’t understand why he would do it in the first place. Some also said that men, in general, confuse them when it comes to relationships and being faithful.
“I don’t get guys,” one person wrote. Jay-Z cheated on Beyoncé. Who gets better than Beyoncé? You had a whole ass diamond at home but went out to get a rusty penny.”
“Jay-Z actually cheated on Beyoncé,” another person tweeted. “How do you cheat on the most perfect person?”
However, others came to Jigga’s defense and empathized with his difficult childhood.
“Jay-Z is a strong domestic violence victim, father, activist,” one guy wrote. “And you tarts wanna keep tearing him down over a small lapse in judgment.”
But others wouldn’t budge on their opinion and felt Jay’s money had a big part to play in his unfaithfulness.
“Imagine if Jay-Z was broke and powerless?” one Twitter user asked. “That’s what our sisters are out here enduring daily. Getting dogged by dishwashers.”
But is what that Twitter user said true? Are the researchers who conducted that study right? Are rich, famous and powerful men more susceptible to being unfaithful than others?
According to Dr. Daryl Rowe, a Los Angeles based psychologist, who’s the founder of the Nubian Psychological Group, fame and celebrity have nothing to do with a man deciding to stray, the problem goes far deeper.
“Cheating or infidelity is a long-standing issue men struggle with in most parts of the world,” he told Atlanta Black Star. “I suspect it has more to do with the overall devaluation of women, globally; and wealth and celebrity are irrelevant to its occurrence. Cheating is ubiquitous, transcending age, class, ethnicity and nationality; deeply ingrained gendered values.”
“Although, I did not review [the] Jay-Z interview, I think he has enough current cultural cachet to begin a deeper dive into these issues that could be immensely beneficial to men of color, since the stability of our families is more critical, given our marginalized roles in US society,” added Dr. Rowe. “We need to have a conversation about permanence in relationships from a legacy standpoint”
You can see more of the social media reactions to Jay’s interview below.
Jay Z speaking on Beyoncé’s Lemonade album & the pain he caused her pic.twitter.com/V0KNiPEUJS
— simma (@foreversimma) November 29, 2017
The more Jay Z talks about cheating on Beyoncé the more I want her to get with her real love and protector Julius.
— Doris Payne (@ohfads) November 30, 2017
I can respect B’s decision and also worry about her wellbeing too…..because Jay Z seems like a special kind of trash.
The kind of trash that convinces you to stay with him trash. So. That’s just how EYE feel about it. Stay mad.
— The Librarian (@AdrianXpression) November 30, 2017
So jay z really did cheat and Beyonce took him back? You girls leaving your man for cheating need to grow up.
— Devontei (@DevonteiGibson) November 30, 2017
Jay Z subscribes to the popular notion that the strongest thing a man can do is be vulnerable. When, in fact, the strongest thing a man can do is to treat people with respect and decency. Message.
— Ryan Leslie’s Laptop👩🏿💻 (@JessicaSaxena) November 29, 2017
Jay z cheating on Beyoncé has made my trust issues 10000 times worse no hope for any of us 😩
— Hannah Durcan (@hannah_durcan) November 30, 2017
Jay Z admitted himself that he was the cause of his wife's miscarriages. Heartbreak, the stress and paranoia that comes from infidelity wreaks havoc on your body and mental wellbeing. But yeah gass him up for "realising" after decades of being with his wife.
— Stef (@FLOTUK) November 30, 2017
I don’t get guys, Jay Z cheated on Beyoncé. Who tf gets better than Beyoncé 🤔 you had a whole Ass diamond at home but went out to find a rusted penny.
— 𝕂𝕪𝕝𝕒𝕒 (@_Kyvm) November 30, 2017
jay z is a strong domestic violence victim, father, activist etc and you tarts wanna keep tearing him down over a small lapse in judgement
— MaBihLuhDoCocayOoh (@HPJArt) November 30, 2017