By Abby Hassler
JAY-Z’s new album 4:44 might have just dropped today (June 30), but it’s already making waves. From the rapper addressing his Kanye West beef in “Kill Jay Z” to apologizing to Beyoncé for past infidelities in the title track, this album is a doozy.
Related: 5 Best Songs on JAY-Z’s ‘4:44’
Though one of the record’s most heartwarming and intimate moments occurs on “Smile,” where the rapper’s mother, Gloria Carter, joins her son in a duet where she comes out as a lesbian.
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” Jay raps. “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.”
Gloria Carter closes the track, singing, “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.”
Listen to a preview of “Smile” below.