On a new installment of David Letterman's new show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Jay-Z opened up about the emotional experience of his mother coming out to him.
"I really cried. That's a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free," the rapper said. Fans will remember that Jay'z latest album, 4:44, includes a song where he reflects on his mother's life as a "thespian," pretending to be straight with four kids all her life. The track, "Smile," ends with a touching poem read by Jay's mother in which she speaks on the joys of "being free" in a new world.
"Imagine having lived your life for someone else. And you think you're protecting your kids," Jay tells Letterman in a clip [below] from the show. "And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn't and hide and like, protect her kids — and didn't want to embarrass her kids, and you know, for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and tell me 'I think I love someone.'"
When Letterman asks Hov how old he was when his mother came out to him, Jay responds, "This happened eight months ago, when the album was being made. Like, she just told me. I made the song the next day."
"I'm sorry, this is when you learned your mother was gay?" Letterman asks.
"No, I knew," Hay says. "But this was the first time we had the conversation. And the first time I heard her say she loved her partner. Like, 'I feel like I love somebody.' She said 'I feel like.' She held that little bit back, still. She didn't say 'I'm in love,' she said 'I feel like I love someone.' And I just, I cried. I don't even believe in crying because you're happy. I don't even know what that is. What is that?"