*This April, Beyoncé dropped her surprise album “Lemonade” on Tidal and HBO, and the album’s lyrics unambiguously talk about a cheating spouse. So, of course, “Lemonade” has already launched a thousand Beyoncé and Jay Z cheating rumors, a stable of black gossip sites for going on 10 years now.
It’s easy to see why, with lyrics like, “If you try this shit again you gon’ lose your wife.” Then there’s the song “Sorry,” with its now famous reference to Becky with the good hair. Queen Bey’s fans speculate the Becky in question is designer Rachel Roy, and even accidently whipped up a hate mob against professional white person Rachel Roy instead. Jezebel even posted a helpful quiz, “Are You Becky With the Good Hair?”
We now know that Jay Z listened to Lemonade and gave his blessing before its release, but it’s hard to listen to songs like “Sorry” and not come to the conclusion that Jay cheated, and cheated, and cheated:
Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home
Today I regret the night I put that ring on
He always got them fucking excuses
I pray to the Lord you reveal what his truth is…
He only want me when I’m not there
He better call Becky with the good hair
Unsurprisingly, many people are reading these lyrics like a confession, assuming that Beyoncé is finally opening up about all those Jay Z cheating rumors fueling so many black gossip sites right now. That could be true, but here’s the problem: songwriters write lyrics from someone else’s point of view all the time.
No one thinks a novelist is talking about herself every time she writes a book, and Lord knows how many wannabe rappers write lyrics about life on the corner even though they spent their entire life in the suburbs. Basically, songwriting is the only artistic medium where we assume the lyrics are about the artist themselves, even though we know damn well most pop stars couldn’t write their own lyrics if their life depended on it.
And trust me, you read black celeb gossip long enough and you’ll see that every time a new Beyoncé and Jay Z divorce rumor comes out, a surprise album or tour announcement mysteriously follows. If you want to know when Jay Z’s next album comes out, just stay tuned to black celebrity news sites.
If you believed everything you read on the Internet about Beyoncé and Jay Z, then you’d have no choice but to conclude (deep breath) that Mr. and Mrs. Carter are secret members of the Illuminati, that Jay Z has cheated with every A, B, and C-list celebrity on the planet, that Beyoncé faked her pregnancy by using a prosthetic baby bump and hiring a secret surrogate, and that in between recording albums and killing it on Instagram, Queen Bey spends most of her time arguing with Jay Z about his latest side piece and whatever the issue of the day is at the Illuminati potluck.
Of course, when you write black celebrity news, you start to see patterns in all the drama, rumors, and black celeb gossip swirling around hip-hop’s first couple. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those Jay Z truthers who think the elevator incident was all staged for publicity, but I don’t think Beyoncé spends her days picking out outfits to wear on Instagram just to throw shade at her husband’s alleged mistress’s husband’s ex-girlfriend neither.
If you’re looking for a rundown of all the Beyonce and Jay Z divorce rumors, black celeb gossip, and elevator-related controversies, then here’s the only timeline you need. Let’s do this; let’s go down this rabbit hole…
May 2005: Jay Z and Rihanna cheating rumors surface. Soon after Rihanna signed to Jay Z’s Def Jam records, rumors start spreading that the two are sleeping together. While celebrity gossip sites will accuse Jay Z of cheating with any woman under 65 whom he comes within 10 feet of, the Rihanna rumors persist.
August 2005: Rihanna’s debut album Music of the Sun debuts at number 10 on the Billboard 200. Later, black celebrity news writer and biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli claims those rumors were faked for publicity. Rihanna goes on to become, well, Rihanna.
April 2008: Beyoncé and Jay Z tie the knot, giving birth to Blue Ivy Carter in January 2012.
January 2013: Instead of Rihanna, rumors of Jay Z cheating with musician Rita Ora spread like wildfire. To this day, Rita Ora says the rumors are disrespectful to Beyonce, even after Roc Nation sued Rita Ora for lack of album output.
February 2013: Beyonce’s new documentary Life Is But a Dream debuts on HBO. Mr. and Mrs. Carter appear onscreen looking like a happy — and very, very rich — couple.
Fall 2013: Jay Z is rumored to be cheating, again, this time with a number of different women.
December 2013: Beyoncé releases a surprise album. Noticing a pattern yet?
May 2014: Elevatorgate. Do we really need to say more at this point?
May 2014: Black celeb gossip sites and celebrity news outlets are now treating an impending Beyoncé-Jay Z divorce as an absolute certainty.
May 2014: Instead of divorcing, the couple announces plans to go on a joint tour together. The On the Run Tour is a massive success, and once again, the couple appears to be very much in love with each other, despite recent elevator-related controversies.
Winter 2016: the divorce rumors start, again.
April 2016: Lemonade premieres on HBO.
Like we said, you don’t have to be a black celebrity gossip writer to see a pattern here.
Let’s be real, married couples fight. Married couples with a young child, who are also two of the most famous celebrities in the world and who ALSO run their own media empires valued at more than a billion dollars definitely fight.
And once the fight is over, Beyoncé and Jay Z laugh all the way to the bank. Look, it’s entirely possible Jay Z stepped out. He is Jay Z, after all. It’s even possible Bey stepped out, which means I’ll probably be accused of blasphemy and burned at the stake. But even if all the rumors were true, which is literally impossible, Queen Bey has found a way to turn her marital strife into Lemonade.