Skip Nav

JAY-Z's Mom Comes Out as a Lesbian on His New Album

The Beautiful Way JAY-Z Used His New Album to Help His Mom Come Out

This week, JAY-Z dropped his latest studio album 4:44, and there's so much to discuss. While the rapper brings up plenty of different people in the new tracks, it's the more personal moments that really shine. One song is dedicated to his infidelity. He talks about Beyoncé's miscarriage and apologizes for cheating on her. He even mentions his kids! Another song turns into something you'd never expect: a coming out for his mom, Gloria Carter.

Called "Smile," the song is a powerful duet between mother and son. JAY-Z 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."

Even more moving, though, is the poem Gloria Carter reads at the end: "Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live? In the shadows people see you as happy and free / Because that's what you want them to see / The world is changing and they say it's time to be free / But you live with the fear of just being me . . . Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be / No harm for them, no harm for me / But life is short, and it's time to be free / Love who you love, because life isn't guaranteed."

The fact that JAY-Z is supporting his mother so vocally and visibly is a beautiful decision in itself. It amplifies the message she sends in her own poem: it's time to be free. It's also important to note that, even in 2017, rap remains a pretty homophobic art form. For JAY-Z to include this song makes two grand statements. It directly contradicts a pretty glaring part of rap music culture, and it mirrors the pride Gloria Carter is attempting to stir up in herself. That's power.

Image Source: Getty
Backstreet Boys iHeartRadio Music Festival Performance Video
Taylor Swift Announces Lover Tour Dates and Festivals
Pierce and Paris Brosnan Pose at London Fashion Week
Janelle Monaé Singing at Ralph Lauren NYFW Show Video 2019
Lizzo’s Best Performances, Quotes, and Moments in 2019
Ed Sheeran Taking a Break From Music 2019
Missy Elliott's VMA Vanguard Award Acceptance Speech
Taylor Swift Lover "Daylight" Lyrics Connection to Red Album
Who Is Taylor Swift's "I Forgot That You Existed" About?
Missy Elliott ‘Throw It Back’ Music Video
The Jonas Brothers Pandora Concert Pictures August 2019
Dwayne Johnson and His Mom Ata Pictures
Latest Celebrity and Entertainment
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds