Beyoncé and Jay-Z's On the Run Tour II Makes Marriage Look Like Performance Art

The last time Beyoncé and Jay-Z toured together, their marriage was in peril, though they could’ve fooled the crowd. Weeks earlier, in May 2014, Beyoncé sister Solange was caught on tape physically accosting her own brother-in-law, Jay-Z, in front of Beyoncé in an elevator after the Met Gala. The tour that followed was pre-planned damage control, though it wasn’t immediately clear then what, exactly, was broken. “We’ve put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same,” the Carters said in their one and only statement on the incident shortly after the news broke. In that same statement they referred to themselves as a “united family” and what could hold up the front of unity better than a joint tour? They ran through 21 shows over the course of three months performing a marriage, sharing never-before-seen private footage from their wedding, from Beyoncé’s first pregnancy, and from their life together.

Fast forward four years and we know now it was all for show. In the years since that tour, both Beyoncé and Jay-Z have released two sides of the story of what happened to their marriage, on her soul-baring Lemonade and his repentant 4:44, then have recently rewritten that history on their joint album, this year’s Love Is Everything, to complete the trilogy. It would’ve been easy after On the Run to excuse what happened that night in that elevator as just a drunken tiff between in-laws, but to do so would’ve been to run from the truth. It also wouldn’t have explained why Beyoncé sang her heartbreaking jilted lover’s ballad “Resentment” on that tour in a wedding dress and sobbed throughout like she was working through pain in real-time. Three years later, Jay-Z told us why on 4:44’s bonus track “MaNyfaCedGod,” admitting that’d we’d been witness to their live marriage counseling that whole tour:

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