Jay Z He wouldn’t be where he is today without his mother. Gloria Carter. “My mom always taught me, you know, little kids listen to their moms too much, that whatever you put into something is what you’ll get,” Jay-Z said. Magazine. “ I had to completely abandon what I was doing before for the music to be successful. That was a leap of faith for me. I said, “I have to give it my all.” With that work ethic, Jay-Z became not only one of the greatest rappers of all time, but a mogul who Forbes estimated in 2022 to be worth around $1.3 billion.
Whatever Hova has harvested, he has made sure to give back not only to his community, but also to the woman who raised him. This is what he needs to know about Gloria.
Gloria Carter raised her son alone.
Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. his father, adnis reeveshe abandoned Jay-Z’s mother, his two older sisters, and his older brother Jay-Z when he was only 11 years old. “We lived in a difficult situation, but my mother managed it,” said Jay-Z. vanity fair in 2013. “I was juggling. Sometimes we paid the electricity, sometimes we paid the phone, sometimes the gas was cut off. We weren’t starving, we were eating, we were fine. But it was things like you didn’t want to be embarrassed when you went to school; you didn’t want to have dirty sneakers or wear the same clothes again.”
“We were told that our parents would be splitting up, but the reasons weren’t explained,” Jay-Z said. EITHER magazine in 2009. “My mom prepared us more than he did. I don’t think he was ready for that level of discussion and emotion. He was a pretty detached guy.” When asked why his father left, Jay-Z said, “I summed up that they didn’t get along. There was a lot of discussion.”
“I also felt protective of my mom. I remember telling him, ‘Don’t worry, when I grow up, I’ll take care of this.’ I felt like I had to step up,” Jay said. Oprah Winfrey. “I was 11 years old, right? But I felt that she had to improve the situation.”
Gloria worked as a clerk at an investment firm, but told her USA Today in 2014 that he would sometimes take “an extra job as a security guard to make ends meet.” He continued to work when Jay-Z’s career began to take off, which his son didn’t like. “Jay had a problem with that,” he said. USA Today, adding that the “99 Problems” rapper and his brothers arranged a meeting to convince their mother to back off. After a year of retirement, Gloria realized something. “She was bored,” she said.
Gloria is the president of the Shawn Carter Foundation.
In 2003, Gloria and Jay-Z launched the Shawn Carter Foundation, a public charity that aims to “help people facing socioeconomic difficulties improve their education at post-secondary institutions.” Since its inception, more than “4 million dollars have supported initiatives to empower youth and communities in need through the Foundation’s programs: Scholarship Fund, College Prep & Expo, International Expo, Professional Development, School Support and Community and Goodwill Programs,” according to the foundation. website.
“The underserved have so many problems,” Gloria said. USA Today. “Sometimes they need someone to give them a hand.” The fund helps students across the country, usually from low-income households. “We have kids who act like the moms and dads of their families, kids who are products of foster care, kids who were in prison,” the executive director said. Diana Diaz. “They still want to pursue higher education, whether it’s at a four-year institution, community college, or vocational school.”
“There are so many people who have the desire to go to college, but can’t get the funds. With me assuming this responsibility, we make dreams come true,” Gloria said. ESSENCE.
Gloria’s sexuality appeared in ‘4:44’
Gloria joined her son on the song “Smile,” from his 2017 album, 4:44. “Mom had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/She had to pretend she’s an actress for so long,” Jay-Z rapped in the opening verse, revealing her mother’s sexuality to the world. Gloria recounted how she told her son about this undeniable truth and how it left the rapper in tears.
“I finally started to tell Jay who I was. Other than your mother, this is the person I am. This is the life I live,” she said. dusse friday (h/t PEOPLE). “Then my son started crying. It’s like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, Mom.’ I was like, my life was never horrible. It was just different. So that made me want to do a song about it, and the first time I heard the song I was like, uh, I don’t know dude. I’m not feeling that.
Gloria said that she only told Jay-Z because it was something that was never discussed. “I was never ashamed of myself. I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m going to give it to them,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about anyone wondering if I’m in the life or not. So now maybe you can focus on the phenomenal things that I do, so focus on that. Now is the time for me to be free.”
“It changed the dynamic of our relationship,” Jay-Z said on an episode of The store: uninterrupted, for all hip-hop. “When she first heard that song [“Smile”] she got super defensive… I was in LA, and she flew to LA, and then she left and she was like, ‘No.’ We speak through him. And then when she flew back to Los Angeles, she had written a poem. She wrote that on the plane. She was coming with the American Airlines notepad… I was like, ‘You got bars, mom!’”
In 2018, the GLAAD Media Awards honored Jay-Z and Gloria with special recognition for “Smile.” glory told him PEOPLE she was surprised by the song’s reception. “I didn’t realize how we touched so many lives,” she said before the ceremony. “I’m glad I can inspire people.”
Accepting the award, Gloria thanked her “family for loving me unconditionally, no matter what. Thanks to my partner, for loving me and helping me free myself from being in the shadows. Thanks to you, to all the people whose lives I touched, for your support, just by speaking my truth.”
“Here I am,” he added. “I am loving, I am respectful, I am productive and I am a human being who has the right to love who I love. So everyone, just smile, be free. Thank you and God bless you.”