- Over the 36-minute run time of 4:44, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s 13th studio album, fans learn intimate details about the Carter family’s history, just as they have over most of Jay’s catalog.
- The Brooklyn-raised emcee offers yet another vivid look at his Bed-Stuy roots on “Marcy Me” and almost every member of his extended family gets a shout-out on “Legacy.”
- But no Carter family member’s life is painted in more careful, glowing detail than that of Gloria, Jay-Z’s mother.
- She’s featured on “Smile,” duetting with her son about finding hope in dark times. It’s where she, later in life, comes out as a lesbian, letting her son confirm the news publicly in the song’s first verse:
- 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
- Read more (6/30/17)