In case you haven’t heard yet, JAY-Z is seriously opening up on his new album, 4:44. He seems to cover everything, from his former friendship with Kanye West, to his relationship with Beyoncé.
But the album wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to his mom, and one track in particular sees her share some personal news.
On the album’s third song, “Smile,” he partners up with his mother, Gloria, for a duet which she uses to musically come out.
JAY-Z is first to mention the topic.
He raps: “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.”
And in a beautiful tribute to his mother, he continues to say that he cried tears of joy when she finally found love.
“Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her/I just wanna see you smile through all the hate,” he says.
Later in the song, his mother takes over to talk about how difficult it was for her to hide the truth.
“The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free/
But you live with the fear of just being me/
Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be/
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,” she says.
It’s a moving piece, and it’s a great sign to see JAY-Z and Gloria letting fans be part of such an emotional experience.