It felt like the internet exploded over the weekend when Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade, aired on HBO. The singer, who is known for being fiercely private, seemed to blow her private life wide open while seemingly implying that her marriage to Jay-Z had suffered as a result of his infidelity. Honestly, I sat there and watched the whole thing and I’m not sure I took a single breath the entire time. While a few people claimed boredom, the majority of viewers were absolutely riveted.
One group of particularly devoted Beyoncé fans, whom are collectively known as the Beyhive, paid special attention to one particular lyric that seemed to confuse and intrigue everyone. Queen Bey seemingly referred to one of her husband’s mistresses as “Becky with the good hair.” Of course, no one actually went looking for a woman named Becky but they did wonder about the identity of this “other woman.”
In the past, there had been rumors of Jay-Z possibly having an affair with Rachel Roy, the ex-wife of his former partner, Damon Dash. The long-standing professional relationship broke down so suddenly and quickly that many assumed there must have been a reason and all clues pointed to Roy, a woman who has made a name for herself as a celebrity fashion designer.
Right after the special aired, Roy didn’t help matters by posting an image of herself to Instagram with the caption: “Good hair don’t care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. Live in the light #nodramaqueens.” Surely, she could not have expected to post such a cryptic message without eliciting a response from the public? Well, if she was looking for attention, she got it but it was far from positive. Not only did she delete the post but she’s also gone on the defensive against, what she feels, has been vicious attacks and bullying from the Beyhive.
After a few days of intense scrutiny, Roy released a statement to People that said: “I want to put the speculation and rumors to rest. My Instagram post was meant to be fun and lighthearted, it was misunderstood as something other than that. There is no validity to the idea that the song references me personally. There is no truth to the rumors. Consequently, online haters have targeted me and my daughters in a hurtful and scary manner, including physical threats. As a mother – and I know many mothers would agree – I feel that bullying in any form is harmful and unacceptable. I would hope that the media sees the real issue here – the issue of cyber bullying – and how it should not be tolerated by anyone.”
This wasn’t the first time since her Instagram post that the 42-year-old tried to clarify her position. This past Sunday, she tweeted: “I respect love, marriages, families and strength. What shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone, no matter what, is bullying, of any kind.”
Roy has been keeping a low profile and has even cancelled some public appearances as a result of the backlash.
The British singer also chose to stir up the pot by sharing a photo of herself, this time on Snapchat, wearing a necklace with the letter “J” (possibly for Jay-Z?) and a bralet embroidered with lemons (a connection to the album Lemonade?). If she wasn’t directly implicating herself in the situation, her choice of attire would be oddly coincidental… Naturally, the Beyhive immediately took notice of the 25-year-old’s selfie and launched an attack on social media.
There is, of course, more to this story. The inflammatory image comes just months after Ora filed a lawsuit against Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s record label. What was the basis of the suit? She says that, due to a lack of support for her music career, her relationship with the label, and its owner, is “irrevocably damaged.” She’s been signed to Roc Nation since 2008 and was once heralded as Jay-Z’s protégé but, truthfully, she hasn’t been well promoted. Most people have no idea who she is despite the fact that the label has proven that they can elevate people to immense fame (hello, Rihanna!).
Is a failed affair the reason for the breakdown of Jay-Z’s promotion of Ora as an artist? We may never know but this has definitely been an interesting week!