Contributed by Lauren Taylor
This past Saturday in Cleveland Ohio, Jay-Z was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making him the first living solo rap artist to be added. The ceremony was full of celebs featuring tributes by comedian Dave Chapelle and Former President of the United States Barack Obama.
The 23-time Grammy award winner is well deserved to be on the shortlist of solo rappers inducted into this Hall of Fame. Others include Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., and fellow 2021 inductee LL Cool J.
The night started out with a tribute video to the father of 3, led by his wife Beyonce and their daughter Blue Ivy. The two went back and forth reciting their favorite Jay-Z lyrics. The star-studded tribute video featured DJ Khaled, Sean Combs, Regina King, Jamie Foxx, Dr. Dre, and many many more.
The rapper began his speech by saying, “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,” During his speech he thanked many including, his mom Gloria Carter, sister Annie, business partners Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith and Damon Dash, and the late Notorious B.I.G.
According to People, The inductee ended his speech with, “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!”
Aside from the tribute video, Obama’s remarks came in a separate recording where he goes into how Jay-Z was an important part of his life.
“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,” said the former President.
This was not the first time that Obama has paid tribute to Jay-Z. Back in 2017 Jay-Z was the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and at the time Obama said, “I’m pretty sure I’m still the only President to listen to Jay-Z’s music in the Oval Office,” according to NPR.
While Dave Chappelle, who has been under fire for recent controversy regarding transphobia in his newest special, was able to induct Jay- Z in person.
The comedian started off his speech by saying, “I would like to apologize. I’m just f— with you,” and then he got serious and went on to say, “I’m honored that I got a chance to know you.” Chappelle spoke of Jay-Z as the embodiment of Black excellence.
Jay-Z took to Twitter after the Ceremony showing his appreciation for everyone. Saying, “Thank you to everyone in that video package, I’m definitely gonna cry in the car.”
Thank you to everyone in that video package , I’m definitely gonna cry in the car .
— Mr. Carter (@sc) October 31, 2021
Tune in and watch the ceremony special which will be featured on HBO and HBO Max on November 20th.