The revelations keep coming. JAY-Z bares all on his 13th studio album — but it’s not just his marriage to Beyoncé or his ex-friendship with Kanye West that he wants to talk about. On track three, “Smile,” he duets with his mother, Gloria Carter, to host her public, musical coming out.
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/ Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” he raps. “Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate/ Society shame and the pain was too much to take.”
But Carter has found love, and as her 47-year-old son admits later in the heartwarming track, he cried tears of joy when she did: “Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her/ I just wanna see you smile through all the hate/ Marie Antoinette, baby, let ’em eat cake.”
As the tune closes in on its fifth minute of runtime, Gloria takes over for the moving outro. Read her verses are below, in full:
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
You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person you love
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