Jay-Z’s 4:44 album is arguably his most personal to date. Not only did he acknowledge and apologize for stepping out on wife, Beyoncé, but revealed that his mother, Gloria Carter, came out to him on song, “Smile.”
Following interviews with Barack Obama and George Clooney, David Letterman sat down with the Brooklyn MC on Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction to discuss his career and personal life, including how he felt when his mother came clean about her sexuality.
“Imagine having lived your life for someone else. And you think you’re protecting your kids. And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and like, protect her kids — and didn’t want to embarrass her kids, and you know, for all this time. And 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. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”
Jay went on, “This happened eight months ago, when the album was being made. Like, she just told me. I made the song the next day.”
Hov revealed that while she “officially” came out to him less than a year ago, he’s known she was a lesbian for years.
“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. I don’t even believe in crying because you’re happy. I don’t even know what that is. What is that?”
See the clip below.
Jay’s episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction will be added to the streaming service April 6th.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.