In an 11-minute video titled "Footnotes for 4:44," Jay-Z opens up about his marriage to Beyonce, which he admits "wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth."
The video is a complement to his new album "4:44" and earlier lyrics, already released, that also reference his marriage, including those like "I don’t deserve you," which express his hope to be a better father and husband.
In this new clip, Jay-Z enlists the help of others like Chris Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Chris Paul to talk about love, life and relationships.
"What I thought was when I met my dad was, ‘Oh, I’m free to love now.’ But it’s like, ‘Okay, yeah, but how are you going to do it? You want to do it, I get it. Now how are you going to do it? You've never done this before, no one informed you how to do this," he says, explaining his lyrics about his family.
The rapper, 47, did reconcile with his father Adnes Reeves before his death in the early 2000's. But, he continued to say in the video, it was still hard to be the man he wanted to be for those he loves.
"I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship, you know what I mean, that wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth. And then it starts cracking," he said, without mentioning Beyonce or anyone by name. "Then things start happening that the public can see. Then we had to go to a point, ‘OK, tear this down and let’s start from the beginning.’"
He doesn't clarify what the public may have seen. But it could be a reference to an incident between Jay-Z and his sister-in-law Solange Knowles that made headlines in 2014, when a leaked video showed the two arguing in an elevator. Both Jay-Z and Solange later said things had been reconciled.
"It’s hard," he added in the new documentary-style video. "Remember we just talked about me. I’m from Marcy Projects. I’ve been shot at, all kind of ... nothing is harder than this. By far. I’m telling you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Most humans, us, you know what I mean? We’re not willing to put ourselves through that. Most people give up."
Later in the video, stars add their own reflections on relationships. Anthony Anderson from "Black-ish" talked about the "pain I've caused my wife" by his selfishness and Will Smith talked about not wanting to know "everything about your partner."
Jay-Z closes with a story about a woman, presumably Beyonce, leaving after having a great time on a boat.
"'What is happening to my body right now?’" he said he asked himself. "I don’t even feel like this. Did I just say ... ‘Don’t leave’?"
Beyonce and Jay-Z married in 2008 and welcomed daughter Blue Ivy in 2012. The couple also reportedly welcomed twins last month, but have not publicly confirmed their births. Jay-Z mentions them in a song on the 4:44 album.