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Jay-Z Says Marriage To Beyoncé “Wasn’t Totally Built on the 100 Percent Truth”

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 19: Jay Z, Blue Ivy Carter, Beyoncé Knowles attend the 66th NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center on February 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Over the past two weeks, Tidal has been rolling out “footnotes” for Jay-Z‘s 4:44 —an addendum where celebrities candidly discuss the songs’ themes. After dropping one for “The Story of O.J.”—which is about the inescapable nature of racism—Jay’s streaming service dropped another one today for the album’s title track. Because “4:44” focuses on Jay’s once-fractured relationship with Beyoncé, yes, this video features his first outside-the-studio comments about the issues with their marriage that they have so far only alluded to in song.

Although Jay doesn’t get too far into particulars, he does offer some perspective on why being married to one of the world’s famous women is, by his reasoning anyway, so difficult. Some of it, he admits, is because of his own flaws: He remarks at one point that reconciling with his estranged father didn’t quite make it easier to love (“What I thought when I met my dad is that I’m free to love now. But it’s like, ‘Yeah, but how are you gonna do it?'”). The conversation turns to Beyoncé soon after.

“This is my real life. I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth and it starts cracking,” he says. “Things start happening that the public can see. Then we had to get to a point of ‘OK, tear this down and let’s start from the beginning. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

The most revealing moment comes near the end of the video, where Jay talks about begging Beyoncé to physically stay with him while on vacation, in the process revealing that he had never fully realized the depth of his love for her.

“I was on a boat, and I had the best time. I was like, ‘Man, this is great.’ Then she had to leave.” Jay says to his crew in a studio. “I was, like, crushed: ‘Man, I don’t even feel like this. What is happening to my body right now? I don’t even feel like this. Did I just say… ‘Don’t leave’?”

You’ll need Tidal to watch transparent Jay-Z, though you can watch a clip below.