Sigh. That thing happened again.
You know, when an artist drops a masterpiece filled with tea, and all people pulled from it was the tea they wanted?
Yes, Jay-Z finally dropped his 4:44 album, in which he addresses cheating on his wife among a plethora of other juicy topics, like his mangled friendship with Kanye, his argument with Solange, and his mother's coming out.
Running to Tidal, now? I don't blame you.
On the album's namesake record, Jay-Z raps,
Like the men before me, I cut off my nose to spite my face. I never wanted another woman to know something about me that you didn't know. I promised, I cried, I couldn't hold. I suck at love. I think I need a do-over. I will be emotionally available if I invited you over.
He also shared in the last verse,
And if my children knew, I don't even know what I would do. If they ain't look at me the same, I would prob'ly die with all the shame. 'You did what with who?' What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? 'You risked that for Blue?' I wasn't a superhero in your face. My heart breaks for the day I had to explain my mistakes.
Of course, what the Twitternet is focusing on are these admissions against the Queen Beyoncé, even though Beyoncé basically told the world on her own album over a year ago.
Guess we aren't ready for fresh tea.
There's also another thing people (OK, guys) aren't ready for: taking responsibility for cheating.
Guys want to use Jay-Z's confessions as their cheating pass.
The consensus amongst f*ck-boys seems to be, since Jay-Z cheated on the desirable, beautiful, and successful Beyoncé, then "regular" woman cannot, and should not, expect any better treatment.
According to these tweets, Jay-Z has somehow waived our rights to faithfulness in our relationships.
Never mind that infidelity can breed things like outside children, shared STDs, and permanently damaged trust.
It's game on now, right?
First of all, it is peak bro culture and sexism that says women shouldn't expect faithfulness, since an “ideal woman” was cheated on.
Second of all, you missed Jay-Z's whole freaking point.
4:44 is not an "I cheated and she stayed" manifesto.
Jay-Z didn't just rap about the ease of being able to dip in and out of his family life. In fact, he rapped about how difficult that turned out to be for him.
He described how difficult it was for him and Beyoncé to stay in different cities, the struggles of trying to call her but not being able to reach her, and the pain he feels when he faces the reality that his three children are going to have questions about how he mistreated their mother one day.
His quick infidelities led to longstanding consequences that he knows aren't worth it now.
If we're going to focus on the cheating part of 4:44 this heavily -- there is more to this album, people -- then this is the lesson:
4:44 is about growing up, making mistakes, and being held accountable for your actions.
Guys overlooking Jay-Z's full cheating experience says so much about our culture.
We live in a society that excuses men for their behavior so often, that how a woman feels about her spouse breaking their commitment is seen as a moot point.
Guys were so excited to finally have another pass for cheating that they skipped over all the bad parts about it (which were explained by Jay-Z), and jumped right into, "Welp! Time to f*ck around!"
Somewhere, Jay-Z is face-palming, Beyoncé is laughing at the gall of these goofs, and their kids are playing, oblivious to it all -- for now.
Somewhere else, though, a guy is still avoiding accountability for his actions and mistreating women -- in the name of "youth," and now, misguidedly, Jay-Z's 4:44.
Believe me, that guy will get a rude awakening when a woman sticks her middle finger up, tells him she "ain't sorry," and unlike Bey -- who is understandably building a family and an empire with her marriage -- walks out of his life for good.
That's right, ladies. Leave these f*ck-boys in the dust when they ignore your worth and your voice -- especially the ones who haven't shown their commitment with a marriage certificate, vows, and a ring.
Never forget that women always maintain the power of choice.
It's open season on on these limited ideas of relationship gender roles.
Men don't get to decide what women will and will not accept.
Move like you know it.