JAY-Z’s mom Gloria Carter talks coming out on duet with son




The emotional duet that Gloria Carter, JAY-Z’s mother, recorded with her son to tell the world that she’s a lesbian almost never saw the light of day.


Carter — speaking for the first time since she came out via “Smile” in June — revealed that she wasn’t happy with the track at first, and nearly had her son hold off on including it on his album “4:44.”


The rap mogul’s mother said that her initial coming out moved her son to tears, and inspired him to write a song about her having to hide her sexuality from the world for years.


“I just finally started telling (JAY-Z) who I was. Besides your mother, this is the person that I am. This is the life that I live,” Carter told the D’USSE Friday podcast. “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.”

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JAY-Z’s lyrics were straight and to the point, and “Smile” includes lines such as: “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian.”


But his directness initially spooked Carter, who says she wasn’t sold on the track the first time she heard it.


“I was sharing myself with (JAY-Z), not to share myself with the world,” she recalled. “I don’t know if I’m ready for that.”


Carter changed her tune after turning her feelings into poetry aboard a flight. She eventually read the words she’d written to her son, who recorded them and ultimately had his mother speak them on the track.

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“I was never ashamed of me,” she said of deciding to finally share her story with the world. “I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m gonna give it to them. 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.”


Carter’s spoken-word rap includes powerful lines like: “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.”

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