“This is my real life,” Jay Z says, before addressing the problems that arose in his marriage. “I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on the 100 percent truth and it starts cracking. Things start happening that the public can see. Then we had to get to a point of ‘OK, tear this down and let’s start from the beginning.’ It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Towards the end of the video, Jay Z remembers a time when he actually begged Beyoncé to stay with him on vacation, rather than leave, as she had previously planned.
“I was on a boat, and I had the best time,” Jay Z recalls. “I was like, ‘Man, this is great.’ Then she had to leave. . .I was, like, crushed: ‘Man, I don’t even feel like this. What is happening to my body right now? I don’t even feel like this. Did I just say. . . ‘Don’t leave’?”
In another clip from the track’s “footnotes,” Jay Z admits that he played 4:44 for Beyoncé pretty early in the recording process. And yes, that was awkward.
“We just got to a place where in order for this to work, this can’t be fake,” Jay Z explains. “Not one ounce. I’m not saying it wasn’t uncomfortable because obviously it was.”