Only in the first year of eligibility, “Brooklyn’s best,” Jay-Z, was adopted in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Saturday night during a class that included The Go-Go’s, Carole King, Tina Turner, Todd Rundgren and Foo Fighters.
But only a hip-hop legend of his caliber, who has been a driving force in the music industry for more than two decades, has been honored with a speech by the former president. Barack Obama, who had previously paid homage to Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter when he was became the first rapper in the Hall of Fame songwriters, made moving remarks about how Jay-Z’s music served as a sound recording of some of his most important moments.
“I turned to Jay-Z’s words at different times in my life, whether I was browsing the dirt off my shoulders during the campaign or sampling his lyrics on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of Selma’s march on Montgomery,” he said. said Obama va recorded video message. “Today, Jay-Z is one of the most acclaimed artists in history and the embodiment of the American Dream, a dream he helped make come true for other young people like him.”
His comments arrived after a stellar video introduction for a hip-hop mogul in which his wife Beyoncé and their daughter Blue Ivy Carter recited some of Jay-Z’s most famous lyrics alongside LeBron James, Rihanna, Chris Rock, Sean Combs, Samuel L. Jackson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Queen Latifah and much more.
But only one big Jay-Z fan decided to personally honor the rapper: a controversial comedian Dave Chappelle, a permanent resident of Ohio, appeared at the ceremony as the last introductory speaker.
After the “huge applause of the crowd” for Rolling Stone, Chappelle began his remarks with the words, “I’d like to apologize … No, I’m just fucking with you,” probably referring to clearance to transphobic material in his recent Netflix special program “The Closer”. Since the betrayal is Chappelle defiantly stood by his jokes despite the refusal of Netflix to support the special, which resulted in employees staging a protest how the company handled the response.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos was actually at the ceremony and posed with Chappell behind the scenes, according to his comments.
But the comedian kept his attention focused on the “incredible honor” of accepting the man who inspired him and the black community, and telling the crowd, “I need everyone in the world to know: even though you respect him, he is ours. He’s hip-hop, forever and ever and one day. “
Describing Jay-Z’s life from a boy who grew up in housing projects in Brooklyn to a man who became one of the best-selling musicians of all time, Chappelle said emphatically, “For everyone in this room, the most important thing is to know what it means to us what it means to our culture. “
“We love it more than we could ever recognize or even get to know it because it embodies the potential of what our lives can be and what success can be like,” he added.
Eventually, Jay-Z also stepped on stage, joking that all the evening’s praise “tried to make them cry in front of all these white people.”
“When we were growing up, we didn’t think we could be accepted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” he said at the beginning of his speech. “We’ve been told hip-hop is a fashion fad. Like punk rock, he gave us this anti-culture, this subgenre, and there were heroes in it. “
He further paid tribute to some of his musical influences, including Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, Chuck D and fellow inductor LL Cool J. He also exclaimed to his former manager Damon Dash, with whom he and Kareem “Biggs” Burke is created Roc-A-Fella Records, which released his groundbreaking 1996 debut “Reasonable Doubt” and many others.
Jay-Z concluded his speech by recalling how Obama asked him to campaign during his 2008 presidential candidacy. “It showed me the power of hip-hop, the power of these heroes who let me know that these things are possible, ” he said. “I hope to inform the next generation that anything is possible.”
The inaugural ceremony at the Hall of Fame Rock & Roll 2021 will be scheduled as a special HBO from Nov. 20.