With Blue finding the pocket in her now-infamous freestyle, it was made clear that the Knowles-Carter accolades would extend past known figureheads like Beyoncé, Solange and JAY-Z. Mothers are included in the greatness, too. Gloria Carter, JAY-Z’s mom, will be honored at the GLAAD Media Awards.
This announcement was made Friday morning (Jan. 19), as the award show centered around the inclusiveness of the LGBTQ community revealed that the song “Smile” from JAY-Z’s 4:44 album will receive special recognition. The track, which features a sample of Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love Today,” details Gloria’s coming-out story from the perspective of her son. “Mama had four kids but she’s a lesbian/Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” Hov raps before adding, “I cried tears of joy when you fell in love/Doesn’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
“Smile” is then capped with an original poem by Gloria Carter that shows off the genetics behind Jigga’s hall of fame career.
Jay’s dedicated fans have heard Gloria’s delivery before, but the personal stories told throughout 4:44 gave this appearance a more emphasized weight. Not only does 4:44 show the maturation of JAY-Z, the song “Smile” projects a side of sexual tolerance that is not always present in hip-hop.
With Offset’s seemingly misplaced lyrics and Nipsey Hussle’s offensive comments, it is safe to say that rap is not as accepting of the LGBTQ community as it needs to be. While it is clear many artists long for JAY-Z’s longevity and success, they should also be eager to mirror his ability to express intersectional tolerance.