Jay-Z's song "Smile" is a very personal one. The track features a spoken word outro in which his mother, Gloria Carter, discusses her sexuality. But in a new interview, Carter says she was just speaking her truth.
In a conversation with the D'USSE Friday podcast this week, Carter explained how she first came out to her son.
"Me and my son, we share a lot of information, so I was sitting there and I was telling him one day, I just finally started telling him who I was," Carter said on the podcast. "Besides your mother, this is the person that I am, you know? This is the life that I live." Carter also revealed that Jay-Z cried when she first told him about her sexuality, which inspired him to write a song about it.
As The Huffington Post notes, the song was the first time Jay-Z or his mom talked about her being a lesbian. Jay-Z's rap verses include the following lyrics: "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."
Carter also revealed on the podcast that she was hesitant to have her son release the song at first. "When it first happened, I was sharing myself with you, not to share myself with the world... I don't know if I'm ready for that," she said of her experience. But after writing poetry about her sexuality on a flight to visit him, she changed her mind. (The poem she wrote on the plane is the "Smile" outro.)
"I was never ashamed of me," Carter said about coming out. "I'm tired of all the mystery. I'm gonna give it to 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."
Check out the emotional interview with Gloria Carter below — the conversation about "Smile" happens around the 25:42 mark.
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