Revealing, cathartic, and highly potent, Jay-Z's 4:44 was as much about Shawn Carter, the man, as it was Jay the rapper. One of the album's most intimate moments was "Smile," where the Brooklyn mogul discusses the sexuality of his mother, Gloria Carter. In an excerpt from the Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, Jay-Z goes in-depth about the moment his mother came out to him.
"Imagine having to live your life as someone else," Jay said. "Right? And you think you're protecting your kids and for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn't and hide and like protect her kids, didn't want to embarrass her kids."
He continues to share how it felt when Gloria finally told Jay about her lover.
"For her to sit in front of me and tell me, 'I think I love someone.' I mean, I really cried," the "Family Feud" rapper said. "That's a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free."
On the 4:44 song "Smile," Carter famously detailed the story of his mother and the sacrifices she made for her children. During the song he 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."
In another clip from the upcoming show, Jay describes why he admires Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Watch the full episode this Friday (April 6) on Netflix.