Jay-Z’s mom begged the rapper not to release his deeply personal 4:44 track “Smile,” in which he talked about her sexuality.
The rap mogul admitted Gloria Carter initially balked at the track and urged her son not to go public with her deep dark secret.
But he won her over and was impressed when she presented him with a poem she wrote that he included on the recording.
“It changed the dynamic of our relationship,” Jay-Z said during an appearance on “The Shop: Uninterrupted.” “When she first heard that song she got super defensive…
“I was in L.A. and she flew out to L.A. and then she left and was like, ‘No’. We talked through it. And then when she flew back to L.A. she had written a poem. She wrote that on the plane. It came with the American Airlines note pad… I was like, ‘You got bars, ma!'”
During the barbershop-style chat with LeBron James and Bad Bunny, Jay-Z also opened up about his deeply personal last album, 4:44, revealing he still can’t listen to it in its entirety.
“It’s a lot, but it had to be done,” the rapper explained. “It was… an evolution of all the things that I’d been through… It was important to write… To be vulnerable in that space after you’ve done all this work… I had so many super gangsta rappers tell me, ‘Thank you for that!’ They would tell me on the side, ‘You saved my relationship’.”
Jay also revealed he knew his career had changed his life forever when friends told him he wouldn’t be able to return home, while he was back on the streets with them.
The rapper was visiting his neighborhood after the release of his second album when it suddenly dawned on him how his life was about to spin.
“The whole world changed around me,” the “99 Problems” rapper said. “They (friends) said, ‘You can’t go back home!’ You know when I heard that? I was home. I had a bullet-proof vest and a Rollie (Rolex watch) on. It was real. That wasn’t, like, a photoshoot. I had that on all day… I was in a real war and I had an album out.”