Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance gave fans a crash course into almost every musical phase of her career to date — something that is not uncommon when artists perform at events of that magnitude. It’s also an opportunity for the said artist to bring out special guests.
However, in Beyoncé’s case, when it came time to perform her 2003 hit “Baby Boy,” which features dancehall star Sean Paul, she has only performed it once with him. Recently Sean Paul addressed the longstanding rumor about the reasoning behind his absence.
During a recent interview on the “Too Live Crew, Action & the Burgerman” radio show in Jamaica, the “Get Busy” rapper revealed that Jay-Z, who has writing credits on the song, was OK with him and Beyoncé collaborating. However, the Brooklyn native didn’t want them to get too close.
DanceHallMag.com translated from patois and reported that Burgerman expressed to Sean that it made him very upset about how the partnership played out. However, he did praise Sean on how well he handled himself.
The 48-year-old admitted that he wasn’t happy about it either. Still, he always remained respectful, even after realizing that Jay-Z “did not want him anywhere near Beyoncé,” during the time when they were promoting their single.
In jest, Sean said he never felt comfortable either, “but mi jus use my diplomacy all di while an guh roun any likkle obstacle weh me have inna life.” Burgerman pressed that Jay-Z might’ve felt threatened by the “We Be Burnin’” rapper’s good looks, to which Sean agreed.
“Yes, to me that was something that was apparent at the time,” Sean explained, before adding, “Wi know that artistry is artistry suh a nuh everytime dem ting deh gwan.”
At the time, Sean was at the height of his career. His album “Dutty Rock” had just been released the year before, and it included tracks such as “I’m Stil in Love with You,” “Like Glue,” and “Get Busy.” Regardless of the reason behind Jay’s stance, the star said he was grateful to have had the opportunity to be on the No. 1 song.
The only time Beyoncé and Sean were close was during the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards. They danced, and the “Lemonade” singer even did a body roll on him. In a 2012 article, MTV noted that although Sean Paul appeared in the “Baby Boy” video, which was directed by Jake Nava, “he and the pop queen were filmed separately.”