JAY-Z Reflects on His Mother Coming Out: ‘I Was So Happy for Her’

JAY-Z has another reason to “Smile” in a new teaser for David Letterman’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.” After praising Eminem and Snoop Dogg in yesterday’s teaser, he opens about his mother’s sexuality.

“Imagine having lived your life for someone else,” he says. “And you think you’re protecting your kids. 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, for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone.’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”

The moment took place approximately eight months ago, he revealed, as 4:44 was being made. It inspired the album’s “Smile,” which features a poetic outro from his mother, Gloria Carter. The song also earned JAY-Z a GLAAD Media Award.

“This was the first time we had the conversation,” he added. “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?”

Up next, Hov is also prepping for the “OTR II Tour” with Beyoncé. The Carters are hitting the road this summer, after Queen Bey’s forthcoming Coachella sets.

JAY-Z’s highly-anticipated episode of “My Next Guest” hits Netflix Friday (April 6). It follows previous episodes on President Barack Obama, George Clooney, and Malala Yousafzai.