- 01 Nov 21
The 23-time Grammy Award winner became the first living solo rap artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during Saturday evening's induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio.
Joining the likes of The Notorious B.I.G., N.W.A., Public Enemy, and Tupac, JAY-Z has become the latest hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"Thank you, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for this incredible honor. And you know, growing up, we didn't think we could be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We were told that hip-hop was a fad," the rapper began his speech. "Much like punk rock, it gave us this anti-culture, this subgenre, and there were heroes in it."
"When thinking about what I was going to say tonight, these heroes just kept coming to my mind, Rakim and Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One and Chuck D, and, of course, a fellow inductee, LL Cool J. I watch these guys, and they have big gold chains and leather and sometimes even the red, black, green medallions and whatever they wore, everybody would wear the next day. I was like, 'That's what I want to do. I want to be like those guys.' And so I set out on my journey," JAY-Z continued.
"Hopefully, I'm informing the next generation that anything is possible. I don't know what's next — In fact, I do know what's next. I have to go to court Monday. There's good and bad, life is about balance — But you know, tonight, we're going to enjoy tonight. I appreciate this honor. Sorry for this long-ass speech, but I had to give it up. We did it, Brooklyn!" the father of three concluded.
JAY-Z was inducted by former President Barack Obama and comedian Dave Chappelle, who continues to face backlash over his Netflix special, The Closer, when said he “agrees” with J.K. Rowling that “gender is a fact".
"It is an incredible honor to induct this next man into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," Chappelle exclaimed. "But I need everybody in rock & roll to know, that even though you are honoring him, he is ours. He is hip-hop. Forever and ever, and a day."
In his speech, Barack Obama discussed how influential the rapper's music has been on him during pivotal moments of his career.
"I've turned to JAY-Z's words at different points in my life, whether I was brushing dirt off my shoulder on the campaign trail, or sampling his lyrics on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of the Selma march to Montgomery," Obama said. "Today, JAY-Z is one of the most renowned artists in history and an embodiment of the American dream, a dream he has helped make real for other young people like him."
An induction ceremony special is set to air on Nov. 20 and will be available to watch on HBO and HBO Max.
- Film & TV
- 22 Jul 21