Jay-Z was so happy he cried when his mom revealed she’s gay

The rapper discusses his mother's coming out story.

In this Sept. 29, 2011 file photo released by Starpix, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter poses with his mother Gloria Carter at a fundraising event to support his college scholarship program in New York. The rapper speaks about his mother on the the April 6 episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman” on Netflix. He says he cried when his mother came out to him and that he was happy that his mother was free. (AP Photo/Starpix, Kristina Bumphrey, File)

During a segment for late-night broadcast vet David Letterman‘s Netflix special, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” rap mogul and husband of Beyonce, Jay-Z went into further detail about his feelings regarding his mother living life as a gay woman. The rapper first talked about it in one of his songs last year and in an interview with Rolling Stone. 

“For her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone…’ I mean, I really cried,” Jay-Z said during the special. “That’s a real story. I cried because I was happy for her that she was free.”

Jay-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter, made her preferences known on the song “Smile” from her son’s 2017 album 4:44. In the piece, she says, “Living in the shadow, can you imagine what 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.”

Jay-Z told Letterman that he knew his mother is gay, but they never really discussed it until last year, when he was working on 4:44. The following day, he recorded his mother for the album and talked about that process in an interview with Rolling Stone.

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“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,'” Jay-Z recounted to Letterman. “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?”

The full interview with Letterman will premiere on Friday on Netflix, but check out this sneak peak: