Jay-Z's 4:44 album was an immediate hit, of course. In it, he very directly confessed to cheating on Beyonce and also slammed Kanye West.
Though she isn't mentioned in the album, Monica Lewinsky -- a woman whose name is still virtually synonymous with cheating, twenty years later -- has spoken out about Jay-Z's album, lyrics, and choices.
And what she has to say may come as a surprise. ...
Because Monica Lewinsky is praising Jay-Z for his honesty.
"Jay-Z had a choice."
She gets specific, but you already know that he could have simply chosen another subject for his album.
"Having been called out publicly by his wife in her fierce 2016 album and video, Lemonade, Jay-Z knew that his fans wouldn’t have blinked if his next album skimmed past the allegations."
We love that she slipped in some praise for Beyonce's Lemonade in the process.
"That’s not uncommon for men to do."
It's wildly common for men to do.
They'll ignore allegations or even evidence.
Even if they answer when asked about it in interviews, their next movie or book or album is just about what they'd rather people talk about.
A lot of people use their craft more for branding than for honesty.
Monica points out that, given how his life had clearly stabilized, it would have been extra easy for him to steer the focus of his fans onto happier topics.
"And it’s not as if we hadn’t seen Beyonce and Jay-Z out in the world together since then -- not to mention, welcoming their twins to planet Earth."
That's plenty of distractions, for anyone.
"Jay-Z could have ignored it all."
But he didn't. And good for him.
We share Monica's enthusiasm for Jay-Z's brazen musical confession of his apparent rampant cheating previously during his marriage.
But, technically, we disagree with Monica.
Because we're not sure how much of a choice Jay-Z had.
Sure, plenty of his fans might have accepted it if his album had just been about dissing Kanye and letting his mom come out as a lesbian.
But we wonder if Beyonce would have been okay with it if, after Lemonade and the revelation therein, Jay-Z's 4:44 had totally ignored his history of cheating.
Music -- all art, really -- is about expression and storytelling.
For the sake of their marriage, Jay-Z needed to put that out there.
And we're just not convinced that Beyonce would have been cool with it if he hadn't.
He needed to put it out there to expose the lies that threatened to ruin his marriage.
This is not even the first time that Monica Lewinsky has commented on Beyonce and Jay-Z's music.
In 2013, Beyonce's song, "Partition," name-dropped Monica ... as a verb.
"He Monica Lewinsky'd all on my gown."
There's an image.
And not one that we asked for.
Monica Lewinsky spoke out at the time.
"Thanks, Beyonce, but if we're verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d’ all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.'"
To be fair, without the "gown" bit, using Bill Clinton as a verb might be a little ambiguous.
"He boosted the economy to historic levels all over my gown?"
But that's totally fair.
Not only was Monica Lewinsky a very young adult when she had an affair with President Bill Clinton, which arguably gives her less agency in what happened ...
... But, in a very literal sense, Bill Clinton was the one who, um, "made a mess," in that scenario.
It's so good that, after years of basically feeling like she needed to be in hiding, after gaining traumatic levels of infamy and being blasted by both sides of the political aisle, Monica Lewinsky is having an easier time.
Her name still means what it means, but she's using her infamy for advocacy and to speak out.
She deserves praise for that.
Just as Jay-Z deserves praise for his honesty.
Though ... everyone wishes that he'd gotten his impulsive sexual conquests out of the way before he'd gotten married.
(Seriously -- who the hell cheats on Beyonce?)