It is hard to pick a single moment in JAY-Z‘s new album 4:44 that is the most emotional; the whole record is among the most confessional, piercingly intimate works of his entire career. But an undeniable moment of sincere revelation came in the track “Smile,” where JAY raps about his mother, Gloria Carter, hiding her sexuality for most of her life, complete with a spoken outro by Gloria herself. Now, she has appeared on a new podcast to elaborate further on the song’s creation and inspiration. Listen below.

“I just finally started telling (Jay) who I was,” she says in her interview. “Besides your mother, this is the person that I am. This is the life that I live. So my son started actually tearing. ‘Cause he’s like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, ma.’ I was like, ‘My life was never horrible. It was just different.’ So that made him want to do a song about it.”

Read our review of JAY-Z’s 4:44 right here, and revisit the visual for album-cut “The Story of O.J.” below.

In other music news, ZAYN has shared a new song – with accompanying video – titled “Dusk Till Dawn” ft. Sia. Listen and watch right here.

  • Cover Image: Frederick M. Brown / Stringer / Getty Images
Music Editor