It was the fight heard — and seen — around the world.
Four years ago, Solange Knowles went after Jay-Z in an elevator at the Standard Hotel in New York City as they left a Met Gala after-party. Beyoncé looked on as her sister laid into her husband before security broke it up. TMZ obtained security footage of the 2014 incident that shocked and confused fans.
It didn’t take long for reports to speculate on what got Solange so upset. The leading theory has always been that Jay-Z was getting too flirty with designer Rachel Ray at the gala and again at the after-party. As the rumor mill turned, it was the first time that America’s king and queen lost control of their own narrative in the press. Bey, Jay, and Solange were forced to issue a rare public statement addressing the incident.
“As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident,” it read. “But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it.
“Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred,” the statement continued. “They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family.”
But did Beyoncé and Jay actually move on privately?
Rumors of marital strife swirled as the couple embarked on a joint tour the following month. Their “On the Run” tour became the “Are Jay-Z and Beyoncé Breaking Up?” tour, with the audience analyzing every interaction between the two on stage. (Are they wearing wedding rings?! Did she just change one of her lyrics to call Jay-Z out for cheating?)
Solange was the first of the trio to address the incident months later. “What’s important is that my family and I are all good. What we had to say collectively was in the statement that we put out, and we all feel at peace with that,” Beyoncé’s little sister told Lucky.
It wasn’t until Queen Bey dropped a remix to her song “Flawless” that we got an acknowledgment from her about the fight. One line read, “Of course, sometimes s*** go down when there’s $1 billion on an elevator.”
Divorce rumors were ultimately shut down and sealed with a kiss at the 2014 VMAs, when Jay-Z and Blue Ivy presented Knowles with the Video Vanguard Award and they were the epitome of a happy family.
The public moved on — and then Beyoncé blew our minds in April 2016 with the release of Lemonade. Once again, there were a lot more questions than answers.
Song such as “Hold Up,” “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” and “Sorry” made it pretty clear that Jay-Z cheated — maybe with “Becky with the good hair”? One telling lyric read, “This is your final warning/ You know I give you life/ If you try this s*** again/ You gon’ lose your wife.” And there were plenty more lyrics where that came from.
Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Knowles, downplayed the notion that Lemonade was about Jay-Z’s infidelity. “It could be about anyone’s marriage,” she explained at the time. “I think that everybody at one time or another has been betrayed and lied to and it’s about the pain — and it’s about the healing process — and it’s about how do you get past that and move on.”
It’s something the power couple managed to figure out. Jay-Z was incredibly supportive of his wife’s album, and it was clear that whatever happened, the couple dealt with it and moved on. They were so solid, in fact, that in February 2017 they announced they were expecting twins.
We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. – The Carters
A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Feb 1, 2017 at 10:39am PST
While Jay-Z and Bey were clearly stronger than ever, the rapper opened up Pandora’s box again with the release of his album 4:44 last summer. On the song “Kill Jay-Z” he raps, “You egged Solange on/ Knowin’ all along, all you had to say you was wrong/ You almost went Eric Benét/ Let the baddest girl in the world get away.”
While promoting his album, Jay-Z was also asked to address the infamous elevator fight. “We’ve always had a great relationship,” he explained to Rap Radar in 2017. “We’ve had one disagreement. Before and after, we’ve been cool. That’s my sister. Not my sister-in-law, no, my sister. Period.”
Bey and Jay apparently recorded Lemonade and 4:44 at the same time as they worked through marital issues and decided hers would be released first.
“[I was] really proud of the music she made, and she was really proud of the art I released. And, you know, at the end of the day, we really have a healthy respect for one another’s craft,” he revealed to the New York Times. “I think she’s amazing.”
In that same interview with the Times, the “Smile” rapper admitted that his infidelity happened at a time when he was shut down emotionally. Jay-Z admitted therapy helped, and it’s a topic he has not been ashamed to discuss.
“For a lot of us — especially where I grew up, and [for] men in general — we don’t have emotional cues,” he told David Letterman this year. “Our cues are be a man, stand up, don’t cry. … I want to be open, I want to have the emotional tools it takes to keep my family together.”
He continued, “I have a beautiful wife who’s understanding and knew that I’m not the worst of what I’ve done. And we did the hard work of going to therapy. We love each other. We put in the work. This music that I’m making now is a result of things that have happened earlier. Like you, I like to believe that we’re in a better place today, but still working, still communicating and growing. I’m proud of the father and the husband I am today because of all of the work that I’ve done.”
Putting in the work was worth it, as the power couple is happier than ever. It’s been nearly a year since they welcomed twins Rumi and Sir. Bey and Jay are also gearing up for another world tour together, kicking off “On the Run Pt. 2” in June.
Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Solange are all expected at Monday night’s Met Gala, and we have a feeling it won’t be a repeat of 2014.
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