Jay Z says he cried with joy when his mother Gloria Carter came out to him as lesbian.
In the April 6 episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman” on Netflix, Jay Z says he was happy his mother was free.
The rap mogul says he’d known his mother was gay, but they discussed it for the first time eight months ago.
The 48-year-old said that while he knew his mum was a lesbian for a long time, it was only when he recorded 13th album 4:44 that he questioned her about it.
Jay Z says his mother had to live as someone she wasn’t because she didn’t want to embarrass her children.
Gloria Carter came out on Jay Z’s 2017 song “Smile,” which featured her poem “Livin in the Shadows.”
Speaking on David Letterman’s new Netflix show, the rapper said: “I was so happy for her that she was free.”
He added: “Imagine having lived your life for someone else. And you think you’re protecting your kids.
“For my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and like, protect her kids — and didn’t want to embarrass her kids… for all this time.
“For her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone’. I mean, I really cried.”
At the end of Smile, the song features a poem from Gloria publicly coming out as gay for the first time.
Speaking about their conversation, he added: “I knew. But 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 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?”
Jay Z recently celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary to Beyonce.
Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. His father, Adnis Reeves, abandoned Jay-Z’s mother, his two older sisters, and his older brother Jay-Z was just 11. “We were living in a tough situation, but my mother managed,” Jay-Z told Vanity Fair in 2013. “She juggled. Sometimes we’d pay the light bill, sometimes we paid the phone, sometimes the gas went off. We weren’t starving—we were eating, we were O.K. But it was things like you didn’t want to be embarrassed when you went to school; you didn’t want to have dirty sneakers or wear the same clothes over again.”