Jay-Z was inducted was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 30.
The 23-time Grammy Award winner was introduced by former U.S. President Barack Obama and comedian Dave Chappelle. His introduction video featured a huge lineup of celebrities, including Beyoncé, LeBron James, Chris Rock, Sean Combs, and Samuel L. Jackson.
“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.”
Jay-Z earned this honor on his first year of eligibility, as his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, was released 25 years ago in 1996.
“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,” Jay-Z said in his acceptance 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,” he continued.
He thanked several people, including his mom Gloria Carter, sister Annie, business partners Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith and Damon Dash, as well as the late Notorious B.I.G.
Besides Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner, The Go-Go’s, and Foo Fighters were inducted this year.
(Photo: Ivy Park/Instagram)
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