JAY-Z's mom Gloria Carter agreed to appear on her son's 4:44 album because she was tired of all the "mystery" surrounding her sexual orientation.
Her decision to tell the rapper she was gay inspired the song Smile on his new hit album.
It includes the lyrics: "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."
The track also includes Gloria reading a poem which features the lines: "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."
Now, in a new interview on the D'USSE Friday podcast, Gloria finally shares her own story about coming to terms with her sexual identity and sharing it with her son.
"I just finally started telling Jay who I was," she explains. "Besides your mother, this is the person that I am. This is the life that I live."
She also admits that her revelation made her son so emotional that he "started actually tearing", adding, "He's like, 'That had to be a horrible life, ma'. I was like, 'My life was never horrible. It was just different'."
But Gloria, who now works hard on humanitarian causes supported by the Shawn Carter Foundation she co-founded with JAY-Z, admits she wasn't initially a big fan of Smile, telling her son: "I ain't feeling that."
The Empire State of Mind hitmaker eventually won her over and Gloria is thrilled that he did, because she feels the publicity surrounding the track has set her free.
"I was never ashamed of me," she shares, "but in my family, it (sexual orientation) was something that was never discussed. I'm tired of all the mystery. I'm gonna give it to "em. I don't have to worry about anybody wondering if I'm in the life or not.
"So now maybe you can focus on the phenomenal things I do, so focus on that. Now it's time for me to be free."