Speaking to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dean Baquet for The New York Times’ T Magazine, the rapper confirmed for the first time that he cheated on the former Destiny’s Child singer, saying that his tendency to “shut down emotionally” led to the infidelity.
Describing how he had been raised to “put on this shell of this tough person”, Jay went on to say: “You shut down all emotions. So even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can’t connect… In my case, like it’s, it’s deep. And then all the things happen from there: infidelity.”
Jay said that he “grew so much” from his therapy sessions, explaining: “I think the most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it. Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at… such an advantage.”
“You realise that if someone’s racist toward you, it ain’t about you. It’s about their upbringing and what happened to them, and how that led them to this point. You know, most bullies bully. It just happens. Oh, you got bullied as a kid so you trying to bully me. I understand.”
Of his and Beyoncé’s decision to work through their problems instead of splitting, Jay said: “You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself. So, you know, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away.”
“We were sitting in the eye of that hurricane,” he said, “but the best place is right in the middle of the pain. And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations. [I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. And, you know, at the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another’s craft. I think she’s amazing.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Jay revealed that he and Kanye West are back on speaking terms.