Gloria Carter, JAY-Z’s Mother, Discusses Her Work On ‘4:44’: “I Was Never Ashamed”

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Gloria Carter
Jay-Z poses with his mother in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/ WireImage)

When JAY-Z released his 13th studio album, “4:44,” he made a shocking announcement about his mother, Gloria Carter, who is featured on “Smile.” He revealed that his mother is a lesbian.

Jay raps, “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian, had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian.” Hov’s mother sat down with D’USSE Friday podcast where she said she recently started telling her son about her sexual preference. When the Brooklyn rapper originally heard his mother’s story, he cried and said, “That had to be a horrible life, Ma.” She comforted him by saying that her life was never horrible, rather it was different.

Gloria admitted that when she heard the track for the first time she wasn’t too fond of it. She didn’t want to share her life with the world. However, she came to the realization that if he really wanted to do the song, she should offer her help. While on a plane to go visit him, she called to share a poem she had written. The “Family Feud” rapper asked her to read it while he recorded her.

Her poem reads:

“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. 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 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.”

Check out her full response below.

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