Rapper Jay-Z appeared on the Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman to talk candidly about his personal life which included his infidelity in his marriage to Beyoncé, his absent father, and his mother Gloria Carter coming out as a lesbian.
The latter showed in a preview before the episode aired on Friday and it was as emotional as you’d expect.
“Imagine having lived your life for someone else. And you think you’re protecting your kids. And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and like, protect her kids — and didn’t want to embarrass her kids, and you know, for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone.’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”
You can read more about that interview below.
David, who had also cheated on his wife Regina Lasko in 2009 opened up the sensitive topic by saying, “You and I have one other thing in common, and I have to be cautious how I articulate this.”
This came right at the end of the interview, in the very last eight minutes.
“A few years ago, I got myself into some trouble, and the situation was my responsibility and my fault. I did something that I had no business doing, and I regret it, and since then I have tried to acknowledge that mistake and be a better person,” David said.
As you may or may not remember, rumour and speculation followed Jay-Z like a swarm of bees when video surfaced of sister-in-law Solange Knowles attacking him in an elevator in 2014. Then in 2016 Bey released her visual record, Lemonade and moments after it was released, fans picked up on the references to Jay-Z’s cheating. Just think, “Becky with the good hair” and you’ve got the gist of it. In an interview last November, Jay-Z admitted to his infidelity in an interview with T Magazine.
David continued his introduction by saying he was so terrified that he’d blown up his family, he wasn’t sure how to even express himself or where to begin to fix his mistakes.
Of this Jay-Z agreed and said,
“You know for a lot of us, we don’t have – especially where I grew up – and men in general, we don’t have emotional cues from when we’re young. Our emotional cue is ‘Be a man, stand-up. Don’t cry.'” he said.
“I made a song called, ‘I never seen a cry rolling down my eyes / So I gotta make the song cry.’ You know the idea of [this] was my way of saying, I want to cry, I want to be open, I want to have the emotional tools that it takes to keep my family together. And much like you, I have a beautiful wife who was understanding, and knew that I’m not the worst of what I’ve done.”
Like David, Jay-Z also attended therapy.
“Like you, I did the hard work of going to therapy – we love each other – so we really put in the works… for years. This music I’m making now is the result of things that have happened already. Like you, I have to believe that we’re in a better place today but still working and communicating and growing. I’m proud of the father and husband that I am today because of all the work that was done.”
Neither David or Jay-Z mean to sound “heroic” by this but for David, seeking help and facing his family was when he was the most ‘scared’ in life, not to discount the pain he caused for others.
Jay-Z shared his story so he could try and instil hope in other couples in similar positions.
The episode is available on Netflix.
Here’s a preview below.
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