JAY-Z’s Mom Discusses How Coming Out To Her Son Contributed To 4:44

Details about Gloria Carter’s private life are the basis for “Smile” on the rapper’s latest album.

September 07, 2017

One of the many revelations JAY-Z laid out on 4:44 was that his mom is gay. “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian," he raps on "Smile." "Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian.”


Speaking on the D’USSE Friday podcast this week Gloria Carter recalled opening up to her son and how a newfound level of honesty led to one of 4:44's most heartfelt moments.

“I just finally started telling (Jay) who I was," Carter said. "Besides your mother, this is the person that I am. This is the life that I live. So 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.’ So that made him want to do a song about it.”

“I was never ashamed of me,” she said. “In my family, it was something that was never discussed…I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m gonna give it to ‘em. I don’t have to worry about anybody wondering if I’m in the life or not, I’m gonna tell them. So now that I told you, what do you have to talk about? So now maybe you can focus on the phenomenal things I do, so focus on that…Now it’s time for me to be free.”

Listen to the whole D’USSE Friday podcast episode below. Carter's comments quoted above come at around the 25m mark.

JAY-Z’s Mom Discusses How Coming Out To Her Son Contributed To 4:44