Jay-Z’s 13th studio album ‘4:44’ was expected to make a splash – and it sure did.
Deviating from rap’s trademark of hubris-spewing and braggadocio lyrics, Jay-Z’s new album was as closest to a public confessional as the world may ever get from a famous rapper.
The Roc Nation president revealed on the album that his mother, Gloria Carter, is lesbian and also appeared to hint that he cheated on his pop star wife Beyonce.
“Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles / Took me too long for this song / Like the men before me, I cut off my nose to spite my face / I never wanted another woman to know / Something about me that you didn’t know,” he raps on the title track ‘4:44’.
“If my children knew, I don’t even know what I would do / If they ain’t look at me the same, I would prolly die with all the shame / You did what with who? What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate, you risked that for Blue?”
On ‘Smile’, Jay-Z addressed his mother’s sexuality, noting that she dealt with the stigma of being a lesbian for so many years.
“Mama had four kids but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long, that she’s a thespian. Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her / I just want to see you smile through all the hate,” he raps.
His mother who also features on the track delivered a spoken word verse, where she harped extensively on how she handled living in the closet.
She rapped: “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 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.”
‘4:44’ is Jay-Z’s first album in four years.
It was exclusively released on his Tidal streaming service which is now co-owned by telecom provider Sprint.
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