The hip-hop mogul opened up during his interview for Letterman’s new Netflix talk show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction”. Jay Z revealed how his mother, Gloria Carter, came out to him and inspired him to write his song “Smile” off his 2017 Grammy-nominated album 4:44.
Jay 48, tells David Letterman about the mother-son conversation that left him weeping tears of joy.
“Imagine having to live your life as someone else and you think you’re protecting your kids. And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and protect her kids … [she] didn’t want to embarrass her kids for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and say, ‘I think I Love someone…’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story,” JAY-Z recalls.
“I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free. This happened eight months ago when the album was being made. She told me. I made the song the next day,” he says.
In the third track off his 13th studio album, the father of Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir raps: “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/ Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian/ Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate/ Society shame and the pain was too much to take.”
He also admits later in the heartwarming track that his mother found love: “Don’t matter to me if it’s him or her/ I just wanna see you smile through all the hate/ Marie Antoinette, baby, let ’em eat cake.”
JAY-Z reveals to Letterman that he knew about his mother’s love life for a while before she sat him down for the talk.
“I knew but this was the first time we had the conversation. And the first time I heard her say she loved her partner,” he remembers. “Like, ‘I feel like I love somebody.’ But she said, ‘I feel like,’ she held that little bit back still. She didn’t say, ‘I’m in love.’ She said, ‘I feel like I love someone.’ And I cried.”
Adding, “I don’t even believe in crying because you’re happy, I don’t even know what that is. What is that?”
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