Is Jay-Z’s new song about Beyoncé? ‘The bed ain’t a bed without you’

Jay-Z is airing some regrets and a re-declaration of love on the new track, “I Want You Forever.”

The soul jam from “The Book of Clarence” soundtrack pairs Hova with erstwhile R&B crooner D’Angelo for a nine-minute journey that is introduced by D’Angelo repeatedly singing, “All I want to say is I love you so much/I don’t want to be without you/I need you forever.”

Jay-Z pops in with his trademark languid storytelling to share: “Life don’t taste the same without you/tears in my champagne ’bout you/quit playing girl, you know I’m crazy ’bout you/you know that week you ran back to your mama house, ask my friend, they can vouch/slept on the couch ’cause the bed ain’t a bed without you.”

Jay-Z arrives for Sony’s premiere of “The Book of Clarence” at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles, Jan. 5, 2024.
The personal lyrics, ostensibly about wife Beyoncé, continue with Jay-Z admitting he “got toxic traits” from his upbringing. “Love you for my life, and I put that on my dead,” he raps before concluding, “Can’t end up like my folks, nah.”

The song returns to D’Angelo’s recitation over a loping beat, crashing cymbals and electric guitar reminiscent of Prince.

Both Jay-Z and Beyoncé have previously revealed shades of their marital struggles, most prominently on Beyoncé’s 2016 “Lemonade” album and Jay-Z’s 2017 “4:44,” on which he admitted to and apologized for his infidelity. Beyoncé also revisited some of their previous disharmony on the “Renaissance” track “Plastic on the Sofa,” reaffirming her forgiveness when singing, “We don’t need the world’s acceptance/they’re too hard on me, they’re too hard on you, boy.”

“I Want You Forever” is part of the soundtrack to Jeymes Samuel’s new movie featuring LaKeith Stanfield, “The Book of Clarence,” in theaters Friday, which Jay-Z co-produced. The album includes contributions from Doja Cat, Kodak Black, Lil Wayne and Kid Cudi among the top names.