The new JAY-Z album 4:44 has left us with a lot to talk about. On that album, JAY disses Kanye West, utterly eviscerates the people controlling Prince’s estate, blames himself for his wife’s miscarriages, and discusses his mother coming out of the closet. Seriously, we’re going to be picking through this one for a long time. But the one line from the album that immediately made the rounds, the one that immediately seemed ready to join the cultural lexicon, is the one about Eric Benét.
If you don’t know who Benét is, he’s the smoothed-out R&B heartthrob who married Halle Berry in 2001. Benét famously cheated on Berry, even going into a sex-addiction rehab program, and they separated in 2003. JAY has had his own issues with infidelity, which came out on Beyoncé’s Lemonade album last year. And addressing them on 4:44 opener “Kill Jay Z,” JAY rapped, “You almost went Eric Benét / Let the baddest girl in the world get away / I don’t even know what else to say / Nigga, never go Eric Benét.”
It took mere minutes for “never go Eric Benét” to turn into a meme, and it took Benét three hours to respond. Here’s what Benét tweeted:
Hey yo #Jayz! Just so ya know, I got the baddest girl in the world as my wife….like right now! ?🏾
— Eric Benét (@ebenet) June 30, 2017
Benét married Manuela Testolini, Prince’s ex-wife, in 2011. They have two kids together now. I’m sure Eric Benét’s life is great. But still: Nice try, Eric Benét.