Jay-Z has spoken candidly about cheating on Beyonce in a new interview with David Letterman.

The rapper appeared on the former late night TV host’s Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, and was only happy to talk when Letterman brought up the subject of his infidelity (in 2009 Letterman admitted to cheating on his wife).

“For a lot of us, especially where I grew up and men in general, we don’t have emotional cues from when we were young,” Jay-Z said, referring to his childhood growing up in a tough neighbourhood in Brooklyn.

“Our emotional cue is ‘Be a man. Don’t cry.’”

“I want to have the emotional tools that it takes to keep my family together,” the father of three said.

“Much like you, I have a beautiful wife who was understanding and who knew I’m not the worst of what I’ve done.”

The 48-year-old confirmed that he and Beyonce have spent many hours in therapy to save their marriage.

“We did the hard work of going to therapy,” Jay-Z added. “We love each other, so we really put in the work for years.

“I like to believe we’re in a better place today. I’m proud of the father and the husband that I am today.”

The music icon said he wants to talk about what he and Beyonce went through, in the hope that others can learn from his mistakes.

“All we saw is people fleeing,” he told Letterman. “We just see people give up. The divorce rate is 50 percent. We never see people [who say] ‘Okay, let’s work through this. I love you; I love my family.’ ”

After Beyonce made not-so-veiled references to her husband being unfaithful on her album Lemonade, he appeared to confirm his actions on his own album 4:44. Beyonce and Jay-Z are set to tour together this year.