Jay-Z spoke candidly to David Letterman about cheating on Beyoncé and his mother’s sexuality in an in-depth interview.
He opened up about infidelity in his marriage to Beyoncé, his mother coming out as a lesbian and his absentee father.
Speculation about his infidelity began in 2014 when a video surfaced of his sister-in-law Solange Knowles attacking him in an elevator.
Those rumours gained steam with Beyoncé’s 2016 record Lemonade, which contained several semi-veiled references to cheating. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, finally admitted his transgression last year in an interview with the New York Times.
He said he didn’t have the emotional tools required for a marriage, but through therapy and Beyoncé’s support, he’s working toward gaining them.
Jay-Z, 48, said he shares his story in case someone who has lost hope in a relationship relates to it.
On his mother, Gloria, coming out as a lesbian, the rapper told Letterman he has long known that his mother is a lesbian, but it wasn’t until he was recording that album that the two spoke about it. That conversation was the first time he heard his mother say she loved a romantic partner.
Jay-Z’s lyrics often centre on his father, Adnis Reeves, who abandoned him, his mother and his three siblings when the rapper was 11, leaving behind an emotional scar.
But time, the Hard Knock Life hit-maker said, helped him better understand his father and the circumstances leading to his absence. Reeves’s brother was killed in the projects, and finding the murderer became something of an obsession for him.
As a young man, Jay-Z felt abandoned by with his father but now, he said, he had “compassion for what (Reeves) went through”.