Names and faces

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS -

■ Rock su­per­star Mick Jag­ger said a news­pa­per ed­i­to­rial was re­spon­si­ble for help­ing him avoid prison for a mi­nor drug of­fense in 1967. The Rolling Stones front­man told the Times of Lon­don on Satur­day that he had been sen­tenced to three months in jail not be­cause of the sever­ity of his crime but be­cause band mem­bers were be­ing “scape­goats” by an older gen­er­a­tion crit­i­cal of their life­style. The Times ed­i­to­rial un­der­scored this point, say­ing Jag­ger should be treated “ex­actly the same as any­one else.” The 73-year-old singer told the news­pa­per “that ed­i­to­rial got me out of jail. One day it dropped, and the next thing I was out.” Jag­ger cred­ited the ed­i­to­rial with telling the es­tab­lish­ment “come on guys, this is just not English fair play kind of thing.”

■ There was a lot to un­pack on Jay-Z’s new al­bum 4:44, which de­buted Fri­day on Tidal, the rap­per’s artist-owned mu­sic stream­ing plat­form. Soon af­ter the al­bum dropped, fans and crit­ics be­gan pick­ing apart the lyrics on its 10 tracks. One of the most per­sonal rev­e­la­tions in the al­bum ap­peared in the third track, “Smile,” in which Jay-Z’s mother, Glo­ria Carter, comes out pub­licly as gay. “Mama had four kids, but she’s a les­bian/Had to pre­tend so long that she’s a thes­pian,” rapped Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter. “Had to hide in the closet, so she med­i­cate/So­ci­ety shame and the pain was too much to take.” Later in the track, which also sam­ples Ste­vie Won­der’s “Love’s in Need of Love To­day,” the 47-year-old rap­per re­vealed his mother had found love again and that he sup­ported her com­pletely, de­spite what any­one else might think or say. “Cried tears of joy when you fell in love/Don’t mat­ter to me if it’s a him or her,” Jay-Z rapped. “I just wanna see you smile through all the hate/Marie An­toinette, baby, let ’em eat cake.” Glo­ria Carter her­self de­liv­ers one of the most emo­tion­ally res­o­nant parts of the song to­ward the end of the track, a spo­ken-word outro about her jour­ney to self-ac­cep­tance: “Liv­ing in the shad­ows 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. Smile.”

Jay-Z

Jag­ger

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