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Jay-Z Opens Up About His Lesbian Mother In New Album 4:44

Jay-Z Opens Up About His Lesbian Mother In New Album '4:44'

Jay-Z Opens Up About His Lesbian Mother In New Album '4:44'

"Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate. Society shame and the pain was too much to take."

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Jay-Z dropped his new album 4:44 on Tidal last night and to say it is a doozy would be an understatement. Perhaps his most vulnerable album yet, the Grammy-winner opens up about cheating on Beyoncé, blaming himself for Bey's miscarriages, commentary on racial relations in the U.S., and dragging everyone from Eric Benet to Kanye West. HOV's mother pops in on track 3, "Smile," to share a powerful spoken word poem about her time hiding in the closet. 

The Stevie Wonder-sampled track reflects on Jay-Z's past and how it's shaped his future for the better. "Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian," the rapper begins. "Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate/Society shame and the pain was too much to take/Cried tears of joy when you fell in love/Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her/I just wanna see you smile through all the hate/Marie Antoinette, baby, let 'em eat cake."

At the end of the "Smile," Carter delievers a touching spoken word outro.

"Living in the shadows. 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. Living two lives, happy but not free.

You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person you love. 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 shadows 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 guranteed. 

Smile."

While this is the first time we've heard about Gloria Carter's sexuality, Jay-Z has been outspoken about his support of the LGBT community. In 2012, he told CNN "I've always thought it as something that was still, um, holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love." He added, "No different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple."

Listen to 4:44 exclusively on Tidal.

 

 

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!