Jigga was very emotional when his mother came out.
Jay-Z’s mother just shared details about how the song “Smile” came about. The standout track from 4:44 is largely being celebrated as the moment where Gloria Carter revealed to the world that she was gay. In a new interview with D’USSE Friday, Carter explained what it was like when Carter first shared that news with her son. She said that Jay started crying over the idea that his mother had to hide who she was.
Me and my son, we share a lot of information,” she said. “So I was sitting there and I was telling him one day. I just finally started telling him who I was. Besides your mother, this is the person that I am, you know? This is the life that I lived. So my son started actually, like, tearing because he was 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.”
Skeptical, At First
In spite of their openness with each other, Gloria was skeptical about the idea of making a song about it. While it wouldn’t be the first time that Gloria appeared on a Jay-Z song — she told stories about young Jay on The Black Album — the personal nature of “Smile” gave her pause. She said that after a long period spent ruminating over whether or not she should go along, she wrote the poem that served as the song’s outro while on a flight to visit Jay.
“We talked about it and we talked about it,” Gloria said. “Then I was going out to see him, and I was on the plane, and I was like, ok, I’m going to help him. If we’re going to do it. I wrote [the poem] while I was on the plane going to L.A. When I got there, I was like, ‘Yo, I’m going to help you along.’ So I gave him this. So I said ‘Look at this’ and he was like, ‘Wow, you wrote this on the plane?’”
Carter said that the revelation that she’s gay is more an act of getting a small fact out of the way. She told the hosts that having that out in the open means that people can move on to more important topics.
“I don’t have to worry about anyone wondering whether I’m in the life or not,” she said. “I’m gonna tell them. So now that I’ve told you, what do you have to talk about? So now, maybe you can focus on the phenomenal things that I do. So focus on that.”
Outside of the moment with his mother, 4:44 is racking up accolades for showing a much more open and honest Jay-Z. Not to mention, Jay’s writing on songs like “The Story Of O.J.” is sharper than it has been in quite a while.
Listen To The Interview
Listen to the whole interview up top. Talk about “Smile” begins around the 24-minute mark. What do you think? Are you touched by Jay-Z’s reaction? Are you glad that Gloria ultimately decided to help on the track? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to SHARE this article.