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The pro-LGBT duet features Jay-Z’s mom, Gloria Carter, who raps about “living two lives” as a lesbian. It’s the first time either of them has publicly discussed her sexuality.
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian,” Jay-Z raps. “Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian.”
Gloria Carter chimes in, rapping about “living in the shadow.” She raps:
In the shadows people see you as happy and free/Because that’s what you want them to see.
Living two lives, happy, but not free/You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person 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.
Jay-Z announced his support of gay marriage in 2012.
“It’s no different than discriminating against blacks,” he told CNN at the time. “It’s discrimination plain and simple.”
4:44 is now streaming on Tidal.
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.