We’ve just, perhaps, entered a State of Beygency.
Ever since security footage emerged of Solange Knowles, the younger sister of Beyoncé, slapping the Jigga out of Jay Z in a tightly-packed elevator as the trio exited a MET Gala after-party back in May, conspiracy theorists have gone all True Detective on the bizarre scenario, concocting various explanations for why Solange did what she did, and why Queen B just stood idly by, barely batting an eyelash.
A fake Solange tweet went viral claiming Jay struck Blue Ivy’s mom. Gossip reports claimed that Jay Z was getting “too close” to Rachel Roy, the fashion designer ex-wife of his estranged Roc-A-Fella/Rocawear co-founder Damon Dash. Another gossip item speculated that the row was over Jay Z’s desire to attend a Rihanna afterparty solo, sans B. A recent, far more dubious report claimed that Jay Z has had a years-long affair with the R&B singer Mya.
Beyoncé, ever the master of public image management, diffused the situation by posting a series of Instagrams featuring her and her younger sis in happier times. And just like that, all seemed happy with the music’s de facto First Couple.
But on Saturday night, while performing on their dual “On the Run” tour at The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio, Beyoncé dropped a little Easter egg on the laps of all those aforementioned Rust Cohles. In the middle of her poignant ballad “Resentment,” the pop diva tweaked the lyrics—in an apparent nod to her relationship with Hova.
“Been ridin’ with you for 12 years, why did I deserve to be treated this way by you,” she sang. “I know you’re probably thinkin’, ‘What’s up with B?’ I’ve been cryin’… I can’t stop cryin’… Can’t stop cryin’… You could’ve told me you weren’t happy. I know you didn’t want to hurt me,” she sang. “I got a look in her eyes and seen she’s had half of me. She ain’t even half of me. That bitch will never be.”
In the original tune, the lyrics go “Been ridin’ with you for six years”—but Jay Z and Beyoncé have been together for 12—and instead of, “I gotta look at her in her eyes and see she’s had half of me,” she added, “She ain’t even half of me. That bitch will never be.”
Now, this could be another example of Beyoncé trolling us all. Either way, the Internet lost its collective marbles over it.
When it comes to the feud and subsequent falling out between Jay Z and Damon Dash, and rumors of Jay Z courting a Dash paramour, there is a bit of precedent. The two were best buds and, along with Kareem Burke, founded the label Roc-A-Fella Records together in 1995. But in 2004, their relationship dissolved acrimoniously. According to their friend, producer/filmmaker Choke No Joke, it was over a mutual flame.
“Both Jay and Dame was involved with a certain R&B singer, who I’m not gonna say her name out of respect ’cause she ain’t around to defend herself, but I believe that was a part of the initial friction,” the filmmaker said.
Many believed the woman in question was Aaliyah, whom Dash dated from the summer of 2000 up until her tragic death on Aug. 25, 2001, but those rumors were just that.
As far as the Rachel Roy/MET Gala situation goes, Dash said, “If [Jay Z] was trying to holla at my wife though, that’s kind of fucked up. But I don’t think he was doing that. But that would be bad. That would be dark. That means he really has some resentment, but I would hope that wouldn’t be the case.”