Gloria Carter reads poem about 'living in the shadow' of her sexuality on song
‘4:44’ is out on Tidal and now and features a response to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ as well as a Frank Ocean collaboration. It also sees Jay-Z take shots at former friend Kanye West. Read NME‘s review of the album.
The song ‘Smile’ closes with a poem from the star’s mother Gloria Carter. She says:
“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 lifes, happy but not free. You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or someone 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.”
Earlier in the track, Jay-Z addresses his mother’s coming out, rapping:
“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.”
Speaking to iHeart Radio recently, Jay-Z said of the track ‘Smile’: “‘Smile’ is just what it is. There are gonna be bad times, and those bad times can do two things: they can get you in a place where you’re stuck in a rut, or it can make your future that much better because you’ve experienced these things.”
It is rumoured that ‘4:44’ will arrive on various other streaming services next week.