Actually, the Latest Beyoncé “Scandal” Isn’t a Scandal at All

TIME

Before she was officially flawless and posting cryptic Instagram pictures (and before Instagram even existed, no less), the Beyoncé-obsessed searched for clues about the pop star’s personal life the old-fashioned way: through her lyrics. So when she released the furious breakup anthem “Ring the Alarm” in 2006, fans naturally speculated about the identity of the other woman caught in Bey’s war path — never mind that pop music can sometimes be the work of fiction. No, Beyoncé was definitely trying to communicate with fans, sending them secret messages.

Rihanna was the target of these rumors, probably because she was a Def Jam artist who worked closely with Jay Z, Bey’s then-boyfriend-now-husband and the head of the label at that time. When asked, Beyoncé brushed off the idea the song was about Rihanna, but few could resist a classic tale of workplace temptation, so the rumors stuck, and now they…

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