All The Tidbits About Beyoncé And Jay-Z's Relationship You Missed On Cowboy Carter

Beyoncé's eighth studio album, "Cowboy Carter," is full of surprises. After decades of effortlessly moving through different genres, the "Halo" singer decided a country project was long overdue, so she dove head first into the genre, honoring her Louisiana roots in the process. The EP also featured some unexpected collaborators in the form of Miley Cyrus, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Post Malone. But as with every Beyoncé album, a few things remained consistent, like shoutouts to her longstanding marriage to Jay-Z. 

Just a month before the album's release, the "Empire State of Mind" hitmaker received the Dr. Dre Global Impact award at the 2024 Grammys. In his speech, Jay-Z called out the Recording Academy for failing to honor his wife with an Album of The Year award despite her undeniable contributions to the music industry. As the camera panned to Beyoncé, she appeared to be processing Jay-Z's words with a rather stone-faced expression that didn't give much away. However, we learned her true reaction to the snubs in "Sweet Honey Bucklin.'" 

The lyrics, "A-O-T-Y, I ain't win / I ain't stuntin' 'bout them / Turn that s**t on the chin / Come back and f*** up the pen," showed that Beyoncé didn't need her hubby to stand up for her at the Grammys. Likewise, the iconic singer isn't losing sleep over the losses because she hasn't been chasing these wins in the first place, opting to focus on her artistry instead. Elsewhere, Beyoncé referred back to a tumultuous period in the celebrity couple's married life with "Jolene."

Beyoncé and Jay-Z stood strong in the face of their Jolene

While Dolly Parton's country classic "Jolene" sees her pleading with the other woman to leave her man alone, Beyoncé's version of the track is a clear warning to Jay-Z's alleged former mistress. Cracks started to appear in Beyoncé and Jay-Z's marriage around 2017 as the rapper all but confirmed he had cheated on his wife in an interview with The New York Times. Beyoncé's sixth studio album "Lemonade" largely dealt with them weathering the storm with unapologetic tracks like "Sorry" but it didn't quite call out the other woman as "Jolene" does. 

The song's first verse sets the record straight with: "You're beautiful beyond compare / Takes more than beauty and seductive stares / To come between a family and a happy man." Beyoncé sings that she can see her husband's mistress's seduction tactics from a mile away, but she doesn't bother engaging with her until the time is right. The "Single Ladies" singer also gushes about Jay-Z: "We've been deep in love for twenty years / I raised that man, I raised his kids / I know my man better than he knows himself." 

Beyoncé later acknowledges that she understands his allure but warns the other woman that Jay-Z's gravitational pull isn't worth the fight she'll have to put up to keep him away from his wife. The iconic star even coos about how the rough patch in their marriage has actually led to them finding calmer pastures to rest in where they're unbothered by people like "Jolene." Throughout the upbeat song, Beyoncé urges the mistress to think about her actions carefully because she knows she can create dire consequences.

Jay-Z is officially Beyoncé's ride-or-die

Dolly Parton also calls out Jay-Z's mistress in "Dolly P" off "Cowboy Carter" as she sings, "You know that hussy with the good hair you sing about?" The line directly references Beyoncé's infamous "Becky with the good hair" descriptor of the other woman in "Sorry." She also gets candid about the cheating scandal in "Riverdance," a song that directly references how the celebrity couple hurt each other at the time by comparing it to being shot. 

"He cried the day he realized / That lies were hidden in my kisses," Beyoncé recalls of the day Jay-Z discovered she knew he had been unfaithful. While the first few verses detail pain and suffering, the song gradually takes a more optimistic turn, showcasing how they're still standing strong and calling back to their first meeting. Beyoncé also subtly references her 2013 track "Partition" to demonstrate that she and Jay-Z are closer than ever. 

The sultry song describes how Beyoncé and Jay-Z cannot keep their hands off each other while sitting in the backseat of a car, so they ask the driver to put a partition between them for privacy. A similar tale plays out in "II Most Wanted" as Beyoncé sings, "I'll be your backseat baby, drivin' you crazy." The track also confirms that Jay-Z has become her ride-or-die as the "Crazy In Love" hitmaker promises that she will always sit beside him, no matter where he drives off to.