Il nuovo album di Jay Z, intitolato 4:44 e uscito su Tidal, contiene una rivelazione sulla madre Gloria Carter, che è anche una grande dichiarazione d'amore nei suoi confronti. Il rapper ha infatti rivelato per la prima volta che la donna è gay e quanto ha sofferto nel corso della sua vita per tenere nascosta la sua vera identità sessuale. La confessione è contenuta in una strofa del brano Smile, terza traccia del disco.

‘Momma had 4 kids but she’s a lesbian/had to pretend so long that she’s a thesbian/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’.

Versi che in italiano suonano così: "Mamma aveva 4 bambini, ma è lesbica / ha dovuto fingere così tanto tempo di essere solo mascolina / Doveva nascondersi, così si curò. La vergogna della società e il dolore erano troppi / piansi lacrime di gioia quando ti innamorasti / non mi importa se era un lui o una lei ".

La canzone si conclude con una poesia recitata dalla stessa Gloria, accreditata come co-esecutrice: "Vivere due vite, felice, ma non libera. Vivi nell’ombra per paura che qualcuno possa far del male alla tua famiglia o alle persone che ami.
Il mondo sta cambiando e dicono che è arrivata l’ora di essere liberi". Disco molto privato e personale, in 4:44 Jay Z parla anche della figlia Blue Ivy e della moglie Beyoncé.

L'amore di Jay Z per mamma Gloria

Il rapper e neo papà di due gemellini è molto legato alla madre. La donna ha cresciuto da sola Shawn Corey Carter – questo il vero nome di Jay Z – e i suoi tre fratelli, dopo che il padre Adnes Reeves li aveva abbandonati. L'infanzia e l'adolescenza del marito di Beyoncé sono state tutt'altro che facili, spesso segnate da episodi di violenza e illegalità. Il cantante si è riconciliato con il padre poco prima della sua morte, mentre il rapporto con mamma Gloria è rimasto sempre fortissimo.

Il testo completo di Smile

Good morn' or evening, friends
Smile, you recordin'?

Slammin' Bentley doors like we invented doors
20 years ago we drove Bentley Azures
We drinkin' Cristal in, yeah
Kept the trey on me like Chris Paulin'
Drinkin' Ace of Spade like it's codeine now
Tryna put a million on the whole team now
Push through the pain so we can see new life
So all the ladies havin' babies, see a sacrifice
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

Bad times turn to good memories, smile
Even when I'm gone and you remember me, smile
Good times never fade away, smile
Even if I'm not with you here today, smile
Good morn' or evening, friends
Here's your friendly announcer

Far as draft picks, my name did not get called
Bet before I go I put a billion on the board
Hall of Fame Hov, I did it all without a pen
Y'all knew that was comin', I had to remind y'all again, huh?
Flyin' paper planes through the projects
Now the whole projects on my jet
Now you see the real in the front row
In every one of y'all televised shows
Super facts
Niggas switched sides, traded pride, we don't do all that
A loss ain't a loss, it's a lesson
Appreciate the pain as a blessin'

Bad times turn to good memories, smile
Even when I'm gone and you remember me, smile
Good times never fade away, smile
Even if I'm not with you here today, smile
Good morn' or evening, friends

I mastered my aesthetics
I know you often heard me wax poetic ‘bout bein' back in the Lexus
But trust me, that was nothin'
A nigga up in the hundreds of millions
I have no ceilings, ah, this that feelin', I'm that boy
Anita Baker's "You Bring Me Joy"
Slappin' out of the toy, the separation is clear
In my rearview mirror, objects is further than they appear
Oh yeah, I was born with a pair
Playin' for high stakes
Norman Cake, he lookin' out of the Lear
How niggas can't relate
Fuck a slice of the apple pie, want my own cake
Chargin' my own fate
Respect Jimmy Lovine
But he gotta respect the Elohim as a whole new regime
And niggas playin' for power, huh
Say our music is ours
Niggas only own houses
Ours was, "Fuck you, pay me"
Now it's, "Fuck payin' me, I pay you
Put the rest away for Blue"
That blood money, I giggle at it
Can even support my miss' habit
Jewelry shoppin' in Paris
All y'all jewelers should be embarrassed, huh
Blood diamonds drippin', we cute
I still ain't trippin', that's life, winners and losers
Drug dealers and abusers, America like me ruthless
My therapist said I relapsed
I said, "Prehaps I Freudian slipped in European whips"
God sent me to break the chain
I'm the true and livin'
God in the flesh, the rest of these niggas is vain
A stain on the white suit, inferior IQ
Niggas'll rip your shit off TIDAL just to spite you
Ahhhh what did I do?
‘Cept try to free you
Niggas'll love you but hate you ‘cause they can't be you
Dump ‘em all in the bayou, uh
Everybody wave bye to the guy you thought you could lie to
This was meant to be a haiku, huh
But my story's too wide to fit inside the line
And too old, these that drugs
Heroin flow, I spaz on the stove
This is Hov, no flex zone, nigga, who lied to you?
Look, you a pedestrian
Don't ever question the security I provided you
Oh y'all thought I was washed?
I'm at the cleaners
Launderin' dirty money like the teamsters, huh
Shout out to Hoffa back home, he in the church
When I heard you got booked, that shit hurt
Fear for you bro, we know the system don't work
Take a young nigga freedom over some dirt
Yet it's legal in Colorado
Yeah we deny
Black entrepreneurs, free enterprise
That's why it's a black market, that's why it's called the trap
That's why it's called the project ‘cause it's exactly that
All these people was gon' kill me, heh
‘Cause the more I reveal me, the more they ‘fraid of the real me
Welcome back Carter, smile

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