In the highly personal piece, Footnotes for “4:44,” Jay is joined by Meek Mill, Chris Rock, Will Smith, Jesse Williams, Kendrick Lamar, Aziz Ansari, Mahershala Ali, Michael B. Jordan, and Omari Hardwick, as they all explore why it’s so difficult for men to build long-lasting, loving relationships. It turns out Jay thought finally having the opportunity to meet his dad would give him the freedom to open up to love. But he soon realized that, while he wanted to let love in, he didn’t have the tools. His hip hop pupil Meek piggy backs off this point, explaining that in the kind of “cutthroat neighborhoods” they grew up in, the only person who treats you right is your mom. “You do for yourself before you do for anybody. As time went by I had to learn to care for somebody as much as I care for myself,” he confessed.
Just as he did on the album, Jay opens up about his coveted relationship with superstar wife Beyoncé. In a moment we didn’t see coming, he explains that his inability to sustain an honest relationship affected their bond at one point. “I just ran into this place and we built this big beautiful mansion of a relationship, you know what I mean, that wasn’t totally built on the 100% truth,” he says in the 4:44 clip. “And then it started cracking. You know, and then things start happening that the public can see. You know what I’m saying? Then we had to go to a point and be like, ‘Ok, tear this down and let’s start from the beginning.’ And it’s hard — remember we just talked about me, I’m from Marcy Projects, was shot at, all kind of — nothing’s harder than this, by far I’m telling you. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Most people, most humans, us, you know what I mean, we’re not willing to put ourselves through that. Most people give up,” he professes.
Later on in the clip, he reveals that loving Beyoncé and not wanting a person to leave his company was completely new to him. “She had to leave and I was, like, crushed. And I was like ‘Man, I don’t even feel like this. What is happening to my body?'” he said of his own shock.
Meanwhile, Kendrick sheds some light on how men can learn to be more compassionate. “Think of the most excruciating thing you can feel, as far as a loss.” The Compton rapper continued, “How would that make you feel? Recognize that emotion…Put yourself in someone else shoes.”
Watch a preview above and sign in to TIDAL for the full clip, in which Michael B. Jordan confesses his biggest fear, Anthony Anderson talks “primal urges,” and Omari Hardwick explains the difference between boys and men.