JAY-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter, came out as lesbian in an appearance on the song “Smile” from her son’s new album, “4:44.”
On the song, Jay and his mother both candidly address her sexuality for the first time in public, according to The Huffington Post.
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” Jay-Z raps on the track, which samples Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Love’s In Need of Love Today.”
“Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take,” he continues. “Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
Gloria Carter herself appears on a spoken-word outro to the song.
“Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?” Carter asks.
“The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free / But you live with the fear of just being me,” she continues. “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.”
Jay has previously spoken out in support of the LGBTQ community, including in a 2012 CNN interview.
“I’ve always thought [not allowing same-sex marriages] was still holding the country back,” Jay-Z told CNN. “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. [It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”
Listen to the song “Smile” below, via Tidal: