*Jay Z has revealed that his mother was not down with him rapping about her sexuality on the track “Smile” off his studio album 4:44.
As reproted by SandraRose.com, Gloria Carter allegedly begged her famous son not to release the song. She eventually changed her mind and responded to the track with a poem she wrote that Jigga included on the record.
“It changed the dynamic of our relationship,” Jay said during an appearance on The Shop: Uninterrupted, with host LeBron James and guest Bad Bunny.
“When she first heard that song she got super defensive… I was in L.A. and she flew out to L.A. and then she left and was like, ‘No’. We talked through it. And then when she flew back to L.A. she had written a poem. She wrote that on the plane. It came with the American Airlines note pad… I was like, ‘You got bars, ma!'”
Jay Z went on to say that he still can’t listen to his album 4:44 in its entirety because it is deeply personal.
“It’s a lot, but it had to be done,” the rapper said of his last album.
“It was… an evolution of all the things that I’d been through… It was important to write… To be vulnerable in that space after you’ve done all this work… I had so many super gangsta rappers tell me, ‘Thank you for that!’ They would tell me on the side, ‘You saved my relationship’.”
The song was the first time the rapper and his mom openly discussed her lesbian identity. On the track, Jay-Z raps the lines, “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian” and “Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
Toward the end of the song, Carter recites a poem about her experience, saying: “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.”
In September 2017, Gloria spoke about the song and coming out to her son in an interview with the “D’USSE Friday” podcast.
“I just finally started telling Jay who I was,” she said. “‘Besides your mother, this is the person that I am. This is the life that I live.’ So my son started actually tearing. He’s like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, ma.’ I was like, my life was never horrible.”
“I was never ashamed of me,” she added.
Jay-Z has previously spoken out about his support of LGBTQ issues, saying in a 2012 interview with CNN: “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love,” he said. “That’s their business. [It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”