JAY-Z Talks His Mother’s Coming Out Story On David Letterman’s Netflix Show

On JAY-Z’s poignant 4:44 album, he revealed his mother Gloria Carter is a lesbian on the touching “Smile.” On wax, the mogul outlined his mother’s battle with her sexuality and attempting to be happy while not living her full authentic truth. Ultimately, Ms. Carter came out publicly on the song.

“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/Cried tears of joy when you fell in love/Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her,” the TIDAL leader rapped.

During a recent interview with David Letterman on his My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the father-of-three gets candid on the moment his mother shared with him she was dating another woman. “For her to sit in front of me and tell me ‘I think I love someone’ – I mean, I really cried,” he said. “That’s a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”

Still, the Brooklyn native admitted that he knew his mother was a lesbian, but her sexual preference was something that wasn’t talked about. When she told him the truth, he cried and wrote “Smile” the next day.

“This was the first time we had the conversation,” the 48-year-old revealed. “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?”

JAY-Z’s full interview with Letterman will premiere on Netflix on Friday (Apr. 6).