Gloria Carter, Jay-Zs mother,came out as lesbian in a new track featured on the rappers just-released 4:44 album.
The song, Smile, features both Jay-Z and his mother discussing her sexuality. It is the first time that either of them has publicly addressed her sexual identity.
Mama had four kids, but shes a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that shes a thespian, Jay-Z raps in the song, whichcontains a sample of Stevie Wonders Loves In Need Of Love Today.
Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take, he adds before asserting, Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Dont matter to me if its a him or her.
Carter herself shows up on track to deliver a spoken word outro.
Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live? she asks on the close-to-five-minute track. In the shadows people see you as happy and free / Because thats what you want them to see, she continues. The world is changing and they say its 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 its time to be free / Love who you love, because life isnt guaranteed.
Jay-Z has a record of speaking out on behalf of the LGBTQ community. In 2012 the rapper, who recently welcomed twins with his wife Beyonce, revealed he supported same-sex marriage in an interview with CNN.
Ive always thought[not allowing same-sex individuals to wed] was still, um, holding the country back, Jay-Z said. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. Thats their business. [It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. Its discrimination plain and simple.