Jay-Z Says He Cried for Joy When His Mother Came Out to Him
Last summer, Jay-Z served up dense slabs of his personal life when he delivered his 4:44 album. One of the most revelatory tracks on the project was a cut by the name of "Smile," which finds Hov recounting the moment his mother came out to him. On the song, he says he cried when his mom, Gloria Carter, made the revelation. Now, he's explained why.
During a yet-to-be-released interview on renowned talk show host David Letterman's new Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Hov says it was a huge relief to see his mother freed from the strain of hiding her identity as a woman who was romantically interested in other women.
“Imagine having lived your life for someone else,” he says. “And you think you’re protecting your kids. For my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and like, protect her kids — and didn’t want to embarrass her kids, for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone.’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”
Jay, who's about to embark on he and his wife Beyonce's On The Run II Tour in June, says the conversation with his mother opened him up to new sensations. Namely, the feeling of shedding tears of joy.
During the clip of his interview, the rapper-mogul is quick to indicate that he'd known his mother was a gay woman before the moment he describes to Letterman. His mom's revelation was more about her openly accepting her sexuality in his presence.
“This was the first time we had the conversation,” reveals the Roc-Nation boss, who says he recorded "Smile" the day after that moment took place. “And the first time I heard her say she loved her partner. Like, ‘I feel like I love somebody.’ She said, ‘I feel like.’ She held that little bit back, still. She didn’t say, ‘I’m in love,’ she said, ‘I feel like I love someone.’ And I just, I cried. I don’t even believe in crying because you’re happy. I don’t even know what that is. What is that?”
Hov originally touched on both this moment and his reaction to it in the first verse of "Smile."
"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," he spits on the No I.D.-produced track, which was praised by GLAAD back in January.
Watch Hov elaborate on his feelings on the moment below. Watch his whole interview when Netflix begins streaming My Next Guest Needs No Introduction on Friday (April 6).
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