Gloria Carter, the mother of hip-hop legend Jay-Z, has opened up about his song “Smile,” in which he revealed that she was a lesbian.
“Me and my son, we share a lot of information. I was sitting there and I was telling him one day, I just finally started telling him who I was,” Carter explained on the “D’USSE Friday” podcast. “Besides your mother, this is the person that I am. This is the life that I live.”
In a show of sympathy for what she’d gone through, the “Run This Town” rapper, 47, felt compelled to write a song about his mom’s experiences.
“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,’” she recalled. “So that made him want to do a song about it.”
While Carter wasn’t immediately on board with the idea, she ultimately came around to it when she realized she wanted to live a completely open life.
“I was never ashamed of me. But in my family, it was something that was never discussed,” she added. “I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m gonna give it to ’em. … Now it’s time for me to live my life and be happy, be free.”
On “Smile,” 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 / Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
“Smile” ends with a spoken word poem delivered by Carter herself, giving listeners her perspective on what it was like keeping the secret for so long.
“Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be / No harm for them, no harm for me,” she says. “But life is short, and it’s time to be free / Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”
Source: Page Six