While speaking with the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editor Dean Baquet, the rapper revealed that Beyonce’s acclaimed LEMONADE album came out of the joint project the couple were planning.
“We were working on material together and it became LEMONADE,” he explained. “She went off and did her thing and it was like, it just felt like she should go first and she should share her truths with the world. It wasn’t based on, ‘I have to say something because of this album.’ It wasn’t even like that. It was just really honest.”
As Jay-Z, the couple used “art almost like a therapy session” while making music together. “It was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations,” he explained. “[I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. We really have a healthy respect for one another’s craft. I think she’s amazing. Most people walk away, and 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.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Jay talked Kanye West and their “complicated relationship.” “I [talked to] Kanye the other day, just to tell him he’s my brother,” said JAY. “I love Kanye. I do. It’s a complicated relationship with us…Kanye came into this business on my label. So I’ve always been like his big brother. And we’re both entertainers. There’s always been a little underlying competition with your big brother. And we both love and respect each other’s art, too. So it’s like, we both — everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. And then there’s like a lot of other factors that play in it. But it’s gonna, we gonna always be good.”
Jay went on to admit that there is still tension with Ye. “That happens. In the long relationship, you know, hopefully when we’re 89 we look at this six months or whatever time and we laugh at that. You know what I’m saying? There’s gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through. And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, “These are the things that I’m uncomfortable with. These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel.” I’m sure he feels that I’ve done things to him as well. You know what I’m saying? These are — I’m not a perfect human being by no stretch.”
Watch the full interview with Jay up top.