JAY-Z's Mother Gloria Carter Talks About Her '4:44' Contributions
"I was never ashamed of me," she said.
Gloria Carter, the mother of JAY-Z, revealed how coming out as a lesbian to her son inspired him to do the song “Smile” off of his critically-acclaimed 13th studio album, 4:44.
“I just finally started telling (Jay) who I was,” Mrs. Carter said on the D’USSE Friday podcast.
The song, which interpolates elements of Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s In Need Of Love Today,” features lyrics such as “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/ Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian.”
“Besides your mother, this is the person that I am,” she continued. “This is the life that I live. So my son started actually tearing. ‘Cause he’s like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, Ma’. I was like, ‘My life was never horrible. It was just different.’ So that made him want to do a song about it.”
She also noted that she was not sure if she wanted to share this part of her life with the world through song. However, a poem she wrote to her son while on an airplane about herself eventually made it into the song, as Jay recorded her reciting it with his phone.
“I was never ashamed of me,” she said. “In my family, it was something that was never discussed…I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m gonna give it to ‘em. I don’t have to worry about anybody wondering if I’m in the life or not, I’m gonna tell them. So now that I told you, what do you have to talk about? So now maybe you can focus on the phenomenal things I do, so focus on that…Now it’s time for me to be free.”
Her comments can be heard below, around the 25:40 mark.
This article was originally published by Vibe.