Jay Z’s mum tells the emotional story of how she came out to him


Jay Z revealed that his mother Gloria Carter is gay in his new album 4:44, rapping “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.”

It’s a lovely and moving celebration of his mother’s experience, and now she’s sharing what it was like to come out to him. “I just finally started telling Jay who I was. Besides your mother, this is the person that I am. This is the life that I live,” she explained in a recent podcast interview. “So my son started actually tearing. He’s like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, ma.’ I was like, my life was never horrible. It was just different.”

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I’m not crying, you’re crying. But also, feel free to chuckle because Gloria went on to say: “So that made him want to do a song about it and the first time I heard the song I was like, eh, I don’t know dude. I ain’t feeling that.”

To be clear, Gloria says she was never “ashamed” of her sexuality, but was “tired of all the mystery” surrounding it. “I don’t have to worry about anybody wondering if I’m in the life or not,” she said. “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.”

This echoes Jay Z’s lyrics on the song “Smile”, where he raps “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 / Smile.”


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