Less than 48 hours after Beyoncé gave birth to Blue Ivy Carter, Jay-Z released an incredibly sweet song dedicated to his daughter featuring the newborn’s soft, babbling coos and cries.
“The most amazing feeling I feel / Words can’t describe what I’m feeling, for real / Maybe I’ll paint the sky blue / My greatest creation was you,” he sings. Jay-Z seems completely enamored with his daughter. “A younger, smarter, faster me / Saw a pinch of Hov, a whole glass of B,” he sings. Later on, he adds “You’re my child with the child from Destiny’s Child / That’s a hell of a recipe.”
Jay-Z also reveals that Beyoncé previously had a miscarriage on the track. “False alarms and false starts, all made better by the sound of your heart,” he raps. “Last time the miscarriage was so tragic / We was afraid you’d disappear, but no/ baby, you magic.”
These painful details make the track more than just an “openhearted ode” to the baby, also capturing the “fear of the unknown, an acknowledgment of the fragility that can lurk behind flawless facades,” as the New York Times‘ Jon Caramanica noted on the paper’s Arts Beat blog.
In the post at Life + Times where he released the track, Jay-Z wrote that Blue Ivy weighed in at seven pounds and was delivered naturally (not, as previously reported, by Caesarean section). “It was the best experience of both of our lives,” he gushed. In the song, Jay-Z also spills that Blue Ivy was conceived in Paris (a fact sure to make her blush in thirteen years).
Reaction to the song was overwhelmingly warm. “Personally, I think he killed it. Honest, truthful, but still a cool track to bump,” Terron R. Moore raved at Ology. At the Times, Caramanica dubbed the track “humane and humble, and maybe the most naked Jay-Z song ever.” Caramanica goes on to write:
What you hear in Jay-Z’s voice on the new song, ‘Glory,’ isn’t bravado, or arrogance, or even the unchained joy of a new father wanting to pass out cigars to everyone in the room. It sounds more like relief, an earned exhale.
The tune is Jay-Z at his “most exuberant,” Forrest Wickman declares at Slate‘s Browbeat. “Several of our greatest songsters have been inspired by postpartum euphoria. Fathers, in particular, have frequently been moved by the occasion,” Wickman writes, collecting five songs about new babies, including George Strait’s “I Saw God Today.”
Chris Randle of the Village Voice’s Sound of the City blog says:
‘Glory’ sounds humbled and relieved, and soft enough to bear some marks; at certain points, Jay’s voice almost seems to quaver. He goes from revealing a past miscarriage to sharing the precise date of conception, as if still ambling through the ward in elated exhaustion.
At MTV’s Rap Fix, Rob Markman chronicles Jay-Z’s lyrical treatment of the subject of children over the years:
In the era of Reasonable Doubt, Jay decided that a child would interfere with his hustle, but by the time Watch the Throne rolled around, the Brooklyn native was rapping a different tune.