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beyonce and Jay z

Beyonce, Jay-Z’s relationship in 10 songs – The Nation

By Chinyere Okoroafor with agency reports

Some music artists usually dole out morsels about their personal lives in songs for audiences to decode.

Beyonce, also known as Queen B and her music mogul husband Jay Z, also known as Jigga or Jiggaman are no exception to that statement.

Just after months, it was rumoured that they had a thing going, Jay-Z’s 2003 track “Public Service Announcement” officially broke the news of their relationship and the lyrics “Got the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain” but by then everybody already knew.

When Beyonce dropped “Lemonade,” which doled outlines that suggested Jay-Z’s long-rumoured unfaithfulness, she completely wiped out her past, her competitors, her halo, and her husband in the song. She then salted the earth so that nothing would grow.

After a year and half, Jay-Z released a response to “Lemonade” in his thirteenth solo album titled “4:44.” In the song it was mostly him apologising.

Here are 10 chosen relationship-illuminating songs, the ones that best provide a penciled-in roadmap to their marriage.

· “03 Bonnie and Clyde,” 2002

“03 Bonnie and Clyde” is Beyonce’s post-Destiny’s Child solo debut and her first collaboration with Jay-Z.

The song offers the unofficial confirmation of their relationship. In the song, they referred to each other as “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” throughout.

It remains one of their biggest joint hits and its ride-or-die theme is one the couple will return to repeatedly.

· “Crazy in Love,” “Dangerously in Love,” 2003

This is Beyonce’s first solo hit and remains the couple’s best collaboration. Beyonce sings about Jay-Z, and how much she loves him; Jay-Z raps about himself.

· “Upgrade U”/“Deja Vu,” “B’Day,” 2006

This is Beyonce’s second solo effort with her Jay Z she boasts about submission (“It’s very seldom that you’re blessed to find your equal/ Still played my part and let you take the lead role, believe me”).

· “Lost One,” “Kingdom Come,” 2006

Two months after the above tracks dropped, Jay-Z injects a note of pessimism (“I don’t think it’s meant to be, B/ For she loves her work more than she does me”), previously unheard of in the couple’s early days.

· “Countdown,” “4,” 2011

Beyonce’s “4,” which dropped three years after her marriage to Jay-Z, is mostly split between heartsick pleas to a feckless partner (“I Care”), and jubilant, battle-tested love songs like this one (“There’s ups and downs in this love/ Got a lot to learn in this love”). Over the next few albums, this division would become magnified.

· “(Part II) On the Run,” “Magna Carta … Holy Grail,” 2013

This unofficial “ ’03 Bonnie and Clyde” sequel revisits much of the same outlaw-lovers-fleeing-unseen-forces territory, though this time they seem less sprightly, and ever-so-slightly over it. “Who wants that hero love that saves the day, anyway?” Beyonce wonders. “Cliche, cliche, cliche, cliche.”

“Mine,” “Beyonce,” 2013

Beyonce’s surprise drop self-titled album is notorious for its odes to marital sexy times (“Drunk in Love,” “Partition”). But “Mine,” a collaboration with Drake, hints at internal fissures: “Been having conversations about breakups and separations/ I’m not feeling like myself since the baby/ Are we gonna even make it?”

· “Hold Up,” “Lemonade,” 2016

Beyonce had been alluding to her husband’s infidelities for years, but “Lemonade,” a travelogue of the couple’s trip through marital hell, still felt like a hit between the eyes with a Hot Sauce baseball bat. In what may be its most unsparing track, one of the world’s most desirable women is reduced to searching her husband’s phone for evidence of his cheating (“I’m not too perfect/ To ever feel this worthless”). The part where Beyonce suggests that Hova’s legion of Beckys might not be interested in him if she wasn’t his wife? Devastating.

· “4:44,” “4:44,” 2017

Jay-Z’s answer to “Lemonade” is one long, satisfying grovel. On the title track, he expresses wonderment that women are actual people (“Took for my child to be born, see through a woman’s eyes”), references what appears to have been a fight on Beyonce’s 21st birthday, and offers an all-purpose apology: “I suck at love/ I think I need a do-over.”

· “713,” “Everything is Love,” 2018

In which Jay-Z appears to explain couple’s still-untold origin story, which went something like this: After meeting at an MTV event in Cancun in 2000, “Fate had me sittin’ next to you on the plane/ And I knew straightaway.” They wouldn’t speak again for almost two years, until after Beyonce ended another relationship (“I bet that dude rued the day”).

She chose Nobu for their first date. Jay-Z invited a friend along. This proved unwise. “I brought my dude to play it cool/ My first foolish mistake.” Elsewhere, the Carters discuss their vow renewal, that time Beyonce met one of the Beckys, and the reason the couple didn’t attend the Kardashian-West wedding: They were working through some couples stuff, Hova implies, and also they probably didn’t want to.

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