JAY-Z reveals his mom is a lesbian on ‘4:44’ duet

On a song called "Smile," JAY-Z and his mother, Gloria Carter, offer an open look at her sexuality and her struggles being in the closet for years.

JAY-Z‘s new album, 4:44, is out, and there is so much to process in it.

Along with a frank apology to wife Beyoncé for his cheating ways, the Brooklyn rapper performs a duet with his mother, Gloria Carter, on a different song called “Smile,” which offers an open look at her sexuality and struggles being in the closet for so long.

“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” JAY-Z raps in the song.

The lyrics also indicate that Gloria Carter was driven to meds because of the pressures of hiding her sexuality: “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,” he raps.

His mother, meanwhile, asks people to imagine what life is like for those who hide who they are: “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.”

In the spoken word rap, Ms. Carter continues, “The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free / But you live with the fear of just being me… But life is short, and it’s time to be free / Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”