One of Sean Paul’s biggest hits was his collaboration with Beyonce Knowles, “Baby Boy.” The song was just becoming big around the time of the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, so the pair was asked to perform.
But when Knowles hit the stage and started performing, Paul could be seen in the audience, not singing by her side.
In the weeks following, reports indicated that Jay-Z was jealous and forbade his girl from sharing the stage with another guy (specifically, Sean Paul).
Paul was prepared to perform, he says, and still does not know why he was prevented from doing so.
Here is his complete version of what went down:
“It was blown out of proportion but I was pretty pissed.
“They had called me for rehearsal and were like, ‘yo, let’s do this,’ and I was like, ‘ok.’ The day before when I was supposed to find out about rehearsal, no one is telling me where to go. I was calling people frantically and not getting back any calls. So I go to the press conference the day before and hear her inside doing the song, so I was like, ‘why am I not there for rehearsal?’ And they were like, ‘oh I think they’re just playing the song. It’s not really anything going on in there.’
“So I go to the show and I see her at the show and she had just won her first award and I was just about to present an award to I think Eminem. And she was coming off stage and I was there backstage and she saw me and she came up to me and I said, ‘what’s up?’ And she said, ‘I’m sorry we couldn?t do the song.’ And I didn?t know that meant she was going to do it. I heard her say, ‘I’m sorry we couldn’t do the song together.’ At the time, I didn?t ask her why can’t we. I just said to her, ‘well, ok, you have a different show schedule; you’re going to do some different songs. But this song is real big right now. It’s getting big on the Billboard charts. It’s number one here and there. So when you’re ready to promote it B, I’m ready.’
“And she was like, ‘ok good.’ And then she left and came down from the roof. And I was sitting in the crowd and I was like, ‘damn what’s that all about?’ Paris Hilton and her sister were sitting behind me like, ‘why ain’t you up there?’ I said, ‘I don?t know.’ I was embarrassed and I was also upset. It did blow out of proportion as to all the rumours about Jay and the jealousy and all that. I don?t know the reason for me not being on that stage while she was doing that song.”
Don’t expect to hear a Jay-Z and Sean Paul collaboration any time soon, but with Paul’s no-beef attitude, you never know.
“I don?t keep beef, dude. Anyone who wants to work with me, that?s fine.”
The ball’s in your court, Jay.