Jay-Z is happy for his mother.
In a preview clip for his upcoming interview on David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, released on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, the rapper opened up about the moment his mom, Gloria Carter, came out to him as a lesbian about eight months ago.
“Imagine having to live your life as someone else and you think you’re protecting your kids….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,” he began, in reference to his 4:44 track, “Smile.” “I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”
Jay-Z continued, “Like, she just told me. I made the song the next day. I knew. But this was the first time we had the conversation. 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,” he said, before jokingly adding, “I don’t even believe in crying because you’re happy. I don’t even know what that is. What is that?”
As Nicki Swift previously reported, Jay-Z’s song “Smile,” released in June 2017, marked the first time he and Gloria publicly addressed her sexual identity.
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” he rapped on the track. “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 / I just wanna see you smile through all the hate.”
In the song’s powerful outro, Gloria and her son recite a poem she wrote, saying, “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.”
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Jay-Z will begin streaming on Netflix this Friday, April 6, 2018.