Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter goes by many names: Jigga, J. Hov, Hova, and more. We all know him as the platinum-selling rap artist turned businessman who started his music career by selling CDs out of his car. Then subsequently co-launched Roc-A-Fella Records as an independent label (because at the time no major was willing to sign him). Within a short few years, Jay went from being a locally-known rapper to a nationally-celebrated bonified star. Hov even helped propel the careers of others like Kanye West, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and more. JAY was a calculated artist and a forward-thinker which led him to many business moves including, the 40/40 clubs, Rocawear, Roc Nation Sports Management, Armand de Brignac champagne, TIDAL music streaming service and his latest venture, Arrive, a venture capital platform that works with early-stage startups, offering investment capital and assistance with business development, branding and more.
But the father of three and husband to superstar Beyonce says that handling all of that and a music career wasn’t hard. Building something out of nothing from the projects wasn’t hard. It was actually repairing his broken marriage that was the hardest thing for him to do.
On the title track of his latest album, 4:44, Jay, said that he could have lost it all due to his infidelity.
“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 prob’ly 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?”
If I wasn’t a superhero in your face
My heart breaks for the day I have to explain my mistakes
And the mask goes away”
“What I thought was when I finally met my dad, I’m free to love now,” explains Jay in the video below that accompany’s the song. “But I thought, ‘how are you going to do it. No one informed you how to do it. You don’t even have the tools to do it. How are you gonna do this?'”
“It’s hard,” exclaims Jay. “Remember, I’m from Marcy Projects. I’ve been shot at…all kinds of stuff. But nothing’s harder than this–by far! I’m telling you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
“Most people are willing to put ourselves through something like this. That’s why most people give up.”
And he’s right, with the divorce rate in America being 50% in typical America, but in Hollywood and the music/entertainment business, divorce rate skyrocket to 70% and above.
Divorce and marriage rates vary drastically in different groups of people. The wealthy and well-educated tend to marry and stay together much more than those who are less well-off. The new divorce data show Washington, D.C., had the highest divorce rate in the country last year with nearly 30 marriages per 1,000 married women ending in divorce. Hawaii had the lowest. Conservative states like Utah and Alaska had the highest marriage rates in 2015, while Rhode Island had the lowest.
Now the thing Jay had to do was to make it through. But it was tough. So tough, it almost broke him down.
“The strongest thing a man can do is cry. To expose your feelings, to be vulnerable in front of the world,” he reveals to T Magazine. “That’s real strength. You know, you feel like you gotta be this guarded person. That’s not real. It’s fake.”
“It happened — we were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together.
“And then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became. There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album.’ I was right there the entire time.”
“Both [of us were] very, very uncomfortable, but the best place in the, you know, hurricane is like in the middle of it.”
“And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations. You know. [I was] really…