Here is what is already known: Jay Z is a cheater; a liar. He cheated on the most beautiful, most talented, most glowing chocolate woman on earth. Here is what is asked globally: He cheated on her? What the world doesn't think about, however, is their own feelings. These are two human beings—regardless of whether or not one believes Beyoncé to be just like the rest of us. They are not perfect. Jay Z made a mistake. We know that from listening to Beyoncé's last album, "Lemonade", and more specifically, the song "Sandcastles". Jay Z's most recent album, "4:44", relates to the issues of their relationship just as "Lemonade" does. The song "4:44" from that album responds effectively to his infidelity.
The song begins with an introduction sung by Kim Burrell. She sings,
"Do I find it so hard / when I know in my heart / I'm letting you down every day / Why do I keep on running away" (1-5).
Those who listen to this song are invited into the story Shawn Carter—who is best known as Jay Z—is about to tell. Carter reveals that although he understands that what he's done is detrimental to his marriage, he continues along that wrong path because his temptation gets the best of him.
That is the detriment that is discussed in the first two lines of Beyoncé's song, "Sandcastles". She sings,
"We build sand castles / that washed away" (1-2).
The sand castle is a metaphor of the Carters' relationship—built beautifully but the water resembles the infidelity which "washed away" the beauty they had built together.
Jay Z apologizes, for what seems like everything, throughout his song. Not only is he speaking to his wife in this song, but he's speaking to all the women he's hurt in the past as well. He speaks,
"I apologize to all the women whom I / toyed with your emotions because
I was emotionless / I apologize 'cause at your best you are love / and because
I fall short of what I say I'm about / your eyes leave with the soul that your
body once housed / and you stare into space / thinkin' of all the times you
wasted in on all this basic shit / so I apologize" (23-30).
Here, he acknowledges that not only did he leave women broken, but vacant as well. And not only did he move on to the next, but he didn't even care. His apology is genuine. He knows exactly what he's guilty of and he feels that guilt too.
In Beyoncé's "Sandcastles", she sings,
"Dishes smashed on the counter / from our last encounter / pictures
smashed out the frame / bitch I scratched out your name / as your face /
what is it about you / that I can't erase, baby?" (9-15).
This verse reveals her anger. She questions why after all the pain she'd been through within the relationship—all the mistrust, the infidelity, the lies, the separation, the washing away of the sand castles—she can't seem to let go of him, her love, and move on. This is where the part of them being human beings comes in. Shawn Carter and Beyonce Knowles live through love imperfectly—he cheats and she forgives him—that's how it works sometimes. That doesn't make either of them stupid—it makes them real.
In "4:44", Hannah Williams sings, "I'm never gonna treat you / I'm never gonna treat you like I should" (31-32), which is a phrase that acknowledges that Beyoncé deserves better than what she gets. This phrase is repeated throughout the song revealing its importance to the situation. Jay Z says,
"What if / you over / my shit" (48-50)?
This question is important as it goes along with the previous quote, signifying that it occurs to him that she could drop him at any time if he doesn't treat her better—like the angel he knows she is.
An important and final note from the song "Sandcastles" is the way in which Beyoncé repeats the lines,
"Every promise don't work out that way, no, no,no,no,no, / every promise don't work out that way" (24-25),
after each verse. She talks about promises revealing, nonchalantly, that vows are commonly broken. This phrase being sung emphasized the issues of their marriage.
Jay Z doesn't just stop at the immaturity of his womanizing; he goes on to talk about the effect the truth will have on his dearly beloved children that he must one day confess these mistakes to. He admits,
"My heart breaks for the day I had to explain my mistakes / and the mask goes away and Santa Clause is fake / and you go online and see / for Blue's tooth, the tooth fairy didn't pay" (60-63).
He learns, and tries to teach through this song, that there is so much think about when it comes to infidelity. For one thing, his kids (or future kids). How is Blue Ivy, his first-born daughter, going to look at him? This verse reveals that everything she believes in now is all just a lie, and it comes together as such because of one mistake that changes everything.
Notice throughout this song that Jay Z does not make promises to love Beyoncé, shower her with jewelry from Dubai, delete every female contact in his phone; none of those are necessary promises to make and he understands that. All he does is acknowledge and explain his mistakes and apologize—that is the start of love within itself.