Does anyone else feel like JAY-Z is somehow their [your] brother, dad, husband, and best friend all wrapped into one? It'd be fair to say he and I don't have that much in common, but I still relate to this man on a deep, personal level. I was so excited when I saw he would be featured on David Letterman's Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, and the latest teaser clip is super emotional. The video of JAY-Z talking about his mother coming out is intimate and special, and I seriously can't wait to tune in for the whole story.
In the video clip from his conversation with Letterman, JAY talks about what it meant to him to hear his mom, Gloria Carter, say she found love. Although JAY says he knew she was gay, it was still the first real conversation he had with his mother about her sexuality. It also inspired lyrics on his 4:44 album.
"Imagine having to live your life as someone else, and you think you're protecting your kids," he told Letterman. "For my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn't and hide and, like, protect her kids... didn't want to embarrass her kids. For all this time... for her to sit in front of me and say, '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."
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...' 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 cried. I don't even believe in crying cause you're happy. I don't even know what that is. What is that?
Peep the sweet story here.
The best, right?
JAY rapped about his mother's journey on his track "Smile," and at the end of the song, Gloria performed her own spoken-word outro. JAY's lyrics are:
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 / I just wanna see you smile through all the hate / Marie Antoinette, baby, let 'em eat cake
Gloria's words are:
Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live? / In the shadows people see you as happy and free / Because that's what you want them to see / Living two lives, happy, but not free / You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person you love / The world is changing and they say it's time to be free / But you live with the fear of just being me / Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be / No harm for them, no harm for me / But life is short, and it's time to be free / Love who you love, because life isn't guaranteed / Smile
Gloria Carter also talked to the D'USSE Friday podcast on Sep. 5, 2017, about what it was like coming out to her son. She explained, "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. This is the life that I live.'"
She describes that initially, JAY felt bad about how hard it must have been for her to hide such a huge aspect of her life. She said, "My son started actually tearing 'cause he’s 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.”
Gloria added, "I was never ashamed of me. But in my family, it was something that was never discussed. I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m gonna give it to ’em. … Now it’s time for me to live my life and be happy, be free.”
Girl, that sounds good to me.
You can tune into JAY-Z's full episode with Letterman on Friday, April 6 on Netflix. I will see you and JAY there.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.