a lot of y'all got it all wrong.
i had a pretty in depth conversation with a dear friend, about what jay z's 4:44 album meant for feminism. how it changed the way beyonce was perceived. his position was valid, but i think it missed the mark. his position is "beyonce is not the strong super hero woman she has branded herself to be." on one hand, i agree... but i think it neglects a significant element. with a host of articles available to speak to beyonce's participation on the project, from advising to vocals, it seems this isn't the "clap back" album some are trying to dub it as. this project is a reflection of how far "above the bullshit" they are. they choose each other. that's a decision you wake up and make everyday.
the song everyone is talking about... (it takes a second to load. be patient.)
initially, i was of a similar mind set. damn bey, this is embarrassing. here you are, all gut full of jay babies & he's releasing albums about his infidelity and short comings in your marriage. but then it downloaded. this was a team decision. lemonade and 4:44 alike. "let's tell the truth babe. let's be honest. this shit gets hard, even for the power couple. let's just be real here." this type of thinking is SO necessary. when i started going through my separation, and i would talk with older or more seasoned couples, i was met with a lot of "yeah, we went through that. we almost split, etc." i was FLOORED! what the hell people?! why is no one sharing this shit? not that i need to know uncle billy cheated on aunt sarah, but damn... when you see us struggling, say SOMETHING. i felt betrayed. like my elders saw the pot hole coming and kept silent. jay & bey's decision to be transparent about some of their struggles is not for gossip or speculation. it's to be a help to those who aspire to be where they are, and have what they have.
everyone will have issues. it may not be infidelity. it may be financial, or supportive, or emotional, or any host of other things that can push people apart. the fact that this revered couple was willing to say, yes, we have all this, and we look great from the outside, and we love each other, but we still have struggles, is being responsible. and i applaud their bravery through their art.
here's the piece that really got me thinking though. my friend says to me... "they're not going to last." hmph. i don't know about that. this type of candidness with the public speaks to a greater level of communication between the two of them. the type that allows your relationship to shift and grow, and you not be intimidated by it. it happened, we've dealt with it, let's adjust and move on. people get shit twisted. a soulmate doesn't mean they never mess up. it means they are genuinely sorry when they do, and they make it a point not to hurt you the same way twice. it means that they understand you, at the core, and they support you, even when it isn't what's necessarily best for them. they support you because they want what's best for YOU.
i love the album. it is heartfelt, passionate, inspiring, and encouraging. i'm proud of jay. and bey too. they're doing it right. which is the way they feel is best for them. ultimately, that's all that matters.