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Jay-Z opens up about fatherhood to The New York Times

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Jay-Z recently reflected on the birth of his twins, Sir Carter and Rumi, in a revealing interview with The New York Times.

He touches upon how it encouraged him and his wife, Beyoncé, to have counselling together to prevent their lives being torn apart after he cheated on her. The 48-year-old rapper discusses how he prioritised his family life. As well as how his counselling and music career allows him to become a better father and husband.

In his most recent album, 4:44, released last year he referenced the strain him cheating on Beyoncé put on their marriage. Now having had three children together, Jay-Z acknowledges how he connected with his daughter. He wants her to know of all the struggles his upbringing and race have had on his life and his career. And he wants her to understand and recognise the world, as it is today.

Extra therapy

A lot of his self-recognition – his race, career and marriage – surfaced from the therapy. It allowed both him and Beyoncé to work through their issues. By seeking help, and by making music together, discussing their own pains and sorrows, they allowed themselves another form of therapy. “I grew so much from that experience, but I think the most important thing I got is that everything is connected; every emotion is connected, being aware of it, puts you at such an advantage.”

Jay-Z also talks about how his work is full of emotion and stories of his life. He says that “the strongest thing a man can do is cry, to expose your feelings, to be vulnerable in front of the world.” He lays bare his guilt and pain for the world to see in order to make him and better man. And encourages that men expose their feelings and seek help if necessary.

The strong link between a marital breakdown and the effect it has on children is something Jay-Z touches on both in his music and in this interview. “One of the most painful scenes in the album is when you talk about almost having lost your marriage. And what it would have been like to watch another man play football with your kid.”

A kind of confession

He describes both Beyoncé’s album Lemonade and his own 4:44 as “very confessional open albums”. They used them as “a therapy session,” he says. He also talks about how painful it was discussing these sensitive issues and exposing them to the world. But he makes it seem like a weight lifted off his shoulders by it being out in the open. “The best place was the middle of the pain and we were sitting in the middle of it.”

He discusses wanting to save his marriage saying. “Most people walk away and divorce rate is 50 per cent.” The divorce rate in UK has increased for the first time in this decade according to the Office for National Statistics. Last year there were over 100,000 divorces.

Finally, Jay-Z shows strength in attempting to work at and fix his marriage through his art as well as therapy. ‘The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself. Most people don’t want to do that, you don’t want to look inside yourself. And so, you walk away.”

Watch the full interview below: