Jay-Z 13th studio album, 4:44 was released June 30, 2017 with 13 tracks. the third track of the album, Smile features his mother, Gloria Carter. The track is a sample of “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” performed by Stevie Wonder.
An exclusive video on Tidal. The video is a story of his Mother raising him in the Marcy projects in Brooklyn. The track is an honest conversation about sexuality and societal influences of Heteronormativity.
The video ends with his mom reciting her poem:
Living in the shadow. Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?
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 someone 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.
-poem by Gloria Carter
you can read more about the track on Rolling Stone.
By: LeAndre Carthen