The Jamaican artist opened up about his dating allegation with Jay-Z’s wife, which stemmed from their 2003 collaborative smash hit song, “Baby Boy,” off her debut solo studio album, “Dangerously in Love.”
In a new interview with the Daily Beast, Sean Paul breaks his silence on the wild rumor that he and Beyoncé were dating and how the speculations have affected his working relationship with the “Crazy In Love” singer.
In speaking about how they ended up working together, he expressed that he was thrilled as he “always admired her music and found her to be beautiful.”
“She had a few hits with Destiny’s Child, and they would do the Caribbean, but we didn’t really hang out. I’d always admired her music and she’s beautiful. So, when I heard Beyoncé was stepping out on her own and wanted me to do a single, I was like “Hell fucking yeah.” I thought it was going to be R&B, but it ended up being dancehall, so that made me go off. That was a bangin’ track, mon,” he told Marlow Stern on Monday (May 16).
Even though the song sat on top of Billboard’s Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks in the fall of 2003, the pair only performed “Baby Boy” three times together, the Dancehall artist revealed
“We had to have a speak about it… Yeah. So, we only performed the song three times together, ever,” he told the publication.
Sean Paul described how the track made him the subject of an internet rumor that he and Beyoncé were seeing each other.
“It was huge. It was nine weeks at No. 1, all over MTV and BET, magazines, everywhere. I had some people who were working with me for years and they were like “Boss—I’m now a fan of yours.” I was like “Now?!” But we had just three performances, and one was at Reggae Sumfest. At the time, we were both on the Rock the Mic Tour. This was 2003. She wasn’t on it every day, but she would come on certain dates and do the song [“Crazy in Love”] with Jay. One day, we left to do the video and then played Sumfest. That was the first time. The second time was in L.A., and a strange thing happened—and I think that’s what started the rumors,” he recalled.
“Strange things started to happen at the performances, which was weird. We went to L.A. and I did my show and then she was performing, and they told me to stick around because we’ll do “Baby Boy.” We do it and I run out there and the crowd goes wild, but after a while it seems like I lost their energy. And it’s weird because I was going wild out there. When the song finished, I came backstage and my own band was all pissed off, like “Man, that’s fucked up. You heard yourself? We couldn’t hear you in the crowd. Your mic was off.” I was like, “How the fuck did that happen?” he added.
The “Get Busy” deejay then gave his recount of how he was cut from the song on stage during their performance at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards in Scotland before Beyoncé confronted him backstage regarding their dating rumor.
“When the thing happened in Scotland, that’s when we had the talk, because the rumors got really crazy. I landed in Scotland and it was this MTV event, and there were paparazzi everywhere. We ended up doing the rehearsal and everything was good, and the performance was going to be where I come up from under the stage, and then we both walk to a big center thing in the middle of the stadium which was surrounded by fire. That all happens, and then it reaches my part—“You’re a top, top, girl”—and the track keeps going, ‘Baby boy, you stay…’ ‘Baby boy, you stay…’ Just repeating. I was like, ‘What’s going on here!?’,” he told Daily Beast.
“She was pissed and was like ‘I need to speak to you.’ So, we go back and talk and she’s like ‘What’s all these rumors about?’ and I’m like ‘Yo, I’m not saying shit,’ and she’s like ‘These rumors fuck with my career. I just want you to know that.’ I was like ‘They don’t fuck with mine. So, listen: I met Jay before you and we was friends, so me and him should talk. If he feels a way about that, then we should talk, because it’s not coming from me’,” he added.
The 49-year-old entertainer then dismissed the speculations that Jay-Z might have been responsible for sabotaging his audio.
“It couldn’t be because he [Jay-Z] wasn’t even there. But people started to say this sh-t… I mean… he’s an icon. Even at that time, Roc-A-Wear was already worth $80 million. He was a very intuitive person, so he would have never been like, “I got to fight this like that.” You know?” he said.
“It’s weird… maybe it had something to do with her management at the time, which we found out later has been a tumultuous relationship for the both of them,” he added when asked if he believed it is “just a coincidence that he was cut out of a bunch of performances and separated during the music video shoot.”
Sean Paul also recalled what happened at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, citing he was inexplicably cut at the last minute from a planned performance of “Baby Boy” with Beyoncé.
“There was one more performance we were supposed to do at the VMAs, and she said to me ‘We’re gonna have rehearsal, so look out’ The day before the VMAs happens, there’s this press day where you speak to every radio station, and I’m hearing somebody rehearsing ‘Baby Boy.’ So, I’m like ‘What’s going on?'” he said.
“We went to the label and they were like ‘Yo… they’re not gonna do the song with you.’ So, I’m sitting there in the crowd with my present wife and Paris Hilton is sitting in front of me. Beyoncé is coming down the stairs singing the song and Paris Hilton turns to me and goes ‘Why aren’t you up there?’ It was embarrassing and weird,” he continued.
“So, the next day, I was supposed to perform in Washington, D.C., and do the song with her for her father. I went there, did my show, and then waited around for a while. And I got pissed off. They were like ‘There are 3,000 influential people waiting out there for you to do it.’ And I was like, ‘There were 50 million people watching the VMAs. I’m not doing it.’ And I left. That was the last time we did the show, and by that time I was saying publicly that there was nothing going on. It fell on me. Nobody was asking them about it. But you know what? It was a big, fat, sexy song,” he added.
Sean Paul also indicated that the song’s steamy music video likely helped fuel the rumors.
“That was a piece of it, too. People in Jamaica were like ‘How come you’re not in any scene with her? You’re supposed to be grinding on her and shit,'” he aid.
“That was an issue you reminded me of. I got there and thought we were going to be dancing, and the director called a meeting—which I never had before—and he told me exactly how things were going to go, and he said ‘You’re not going to be in any scene with her,’ and I go,’OK.’ He goes ‘You’re in a dream world and she’s thinking about you every night.’ But… sexy video, sexy song, and a lot of sexy rumors,” he added.
Nonetheless, Sean Paul expressed that he wishes he had indeed dated Beyoncé.
“Nah! I wish I did! She’s beautiful,” he stated laughingly.
“Baby Boy” is an R&B and Dancehall song with Caribbean and Asian influences; its lyrics detail a woman’s fantasies. Released under Columbia Records and Music World Entertainment, the track was Beyoncé’s longest-running number-one single until 2007, when it was surpassed by “Irreplaceable.”
It reached the top ten in many countries and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).