After months of very public, very Grammy-nominated struggles with infidelity, Jay Z and Beyoncé appear to have made it to the other side with their marriage in better shape than ever. In the first episode of CNN's The Van Jones Show, the rapper opened up about why he and Bey decided to fight for their relationship, rather than letting "Becky with the good hair" drive them apart.
When Jones asked what's "so special" about the marriage that made it worth fighting for, Jay Z responded, "Well, that's my soulmate. It's the person I love. And you can be in love with someone, you can love someone, and if you haven't experienced love and you don't understand it, and you don't have the tools to move forward, then you're going to have complications, period." He continued, "You can either address it, or you can pretend until it blows up at some point, and for us, we chose to fight for our love, for our family, to give our kids a different outcome, to break that cycle. And for black men and women, to see a different outcome."
Jay Z also claimed that his and Beyoncé's relationship was never just another clichéd A-list relationship with a set expiration date. "It's not just a celebrity couple. We were never a celebrity couple, we were a couple who just happened to be celebrities," he said. "We're real people."
The "Family Feud" artist went on to share what he's learned about marriage and relationships since going through this ordeal with Bey. "The best apology is changed behavior," he advised. "And then also, you have to acknowledge, you have to acknowledge the pain. You have to let that person have their say. You have to get on the floor, get on the mattress, and really work through it, and really be honest. And no matter how many times — it takes a while. It's hard, it's very difficult." He added, "It's difficult to listen to that sort of pain, and you just have to be strong enough. You have to be strong enough to go through that, because the other side is beautiful."
Jay Z, who all but confirmed the infidelity rumors on 2017's 4:44 after Beyoncé first hinted at them on her 2016 album Lemonade, previously spoke to T: The New York Times Style Magazine about how putting out both albums was a cathartic process for the couple. "The best place is right in the middle of the pain. And that's where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations," he said, admitting that listening to Lemonade was "very, very uncomfortable." "[I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. And, you know, at the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another's craft. I think she's amazing."