Jay-Z Says His Mom Initially Did Not Approve of “Smile”
Jay-Z’s 4:44 stands alone in his discography. Over production solely handled by No I.D., the album provides a vulnerability we did not see from Hov’s previous work. While his classic bravado shined throughout the album, he sheds light on lessons he’s learned, how we can achieve financial freedom, his relationship with his family, and more.
The Roc Nation CEO says recently appeared on the new season premiere of The Shop.
During the episode, he speaks on the album. Jay-Z says 4:44 was not only an evolution of his life but also provided healing Hov then speaks on his mother’s, Gloria James’, the initial reaction to an album standout track, “Smile.” In addition, Hov’s third verse on the song is one of his best as an all-time great.
On the track, Hov reveals that his mother hid her sexuality, despite having four children.
"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
Cried tears of joy when you fell in love
Don't matter to me if it's a him or her"
He explains her instant reaction after hearing the song.
“When she first heard that song she got super defensive. She was like, absolutely not. What happened was, I was in L.A. She flew out to L.A, 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.”
Jay-Z later reveals that she wrote the poem at the end of the song, while on the flight. He commended her approval, but also her verses of the poem, saying, “You got bars ma.”
He also adds that gangster rappers reached out to him to gives thanks for what 4:44 did for their own relationships.
Check out the clip below.