Jay-Z, who put the hyphen back in his name, dropped his thirteenth studio album 4:44 Friday. While the 47-year-old rapper talks about Becky with the good hair and infidelity rumors, the track that’s by far generating the most buzz and headlines is his surprising pro-LGBT anthem. “Smile” finds Mr. Beyonce rapping about his lesbian mother, Gloria Carter.
“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, which contains a sample of Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s In Need Of Love Today.”
Gloria delivers a powerful outro on the moving track. “Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?” she asks on the close-to-five-minute track. “In the shadows people see you as happy and free / Because that’s what you want them to see,” she continues. “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.”
Jay-Z is a longtime ally of the LGBT community. Back in 2012 the rapper revealed to CNN he supported same-sex marriage. Check out “Smile” below.
Jay Z ‘Smile’