Jay-Z inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by Barack Obama & Dave Chappelle (watch)
Jay-Z was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Cleveland. The introduction video featured tribute from Barack Obama, who said, “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. 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.” The video also featured tributes from Beyoncé, LeBron James, Chris Rock, Sean Combs, Samuel L. Jackson and more.
On hand to deliver Jay-Z's induction speech was Dave Chappelle who opened with “I would like to apologize—I’m just fuckin’ with you,” in what seemed like a nod to the controversy surrounding his latest Netflix special. “It is an incredible honor to induct this next man into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But I need everybody in rock’n’roll to know, that even though you are honoring him, he is ours. He is hip-hop. Forever and ever, and a day.”
Jay-Z, in his acceptance speech, began, "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. Much like punk rock, it gave us this anticulture, 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." You can watch Jay-Z's whole speech below.
As Jay-Z noted in his speech, LL Cool J was also inducted this year as well, as were Kraftwerk, Tina Turner, The Go-Go's and more. You can watch the telecast of this year's induction ceremony on Saturday November 20, 2021 on HBO and HBO Max.
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