In a wide-ranging interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, Jay-Z confirmed longstanding rumors of a joint album with Beyoncé. Sketched out some time before the release of Lemonade, their joint album concept was shelved when Beyoncé’s music came further along in the process and subsequently became her solo album. But Jay-Z said they’re still holding on to a lot of that joint album, and didn’t explicitly rule out a future release.
From the Times:
Baquet: I’m trying to picture the scene when you and your wife both talked about making these very confessional, open albums. Was it difficult to say: “I’m gonna talk about the problems in our marriage. I’m gonna talk about how we almost lost things.” And for her to say: “I’m gonna talk about my pain and anger at you.” What were those conversations like?
Jay-Z: Again, it didn’t—it didn’t happen in that way. 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.
Baquet and Jay-Z went on to discuss the couple’s reactions to Lemonade and 4:44.
Baquet: And what was her reaction to your work and what was your reaction to hers? They must have caused pain for each of you, right?
Jay-Z: Of course. And both very, very uncomfortable, but […] the best place in the, you know, hurricane is like in the middle of it.