Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter has officially been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Brooklyn emcee has effortlessly climbed up the ranks of the music world over the course of his career, exceeding all boundaries as a rapper, entrepreneur, record producer, and sports and media executive.
On Saturday (October 30), JAY-Z was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Performer category for his 20 plus year run as hip-hop’s most influential act. The emcee was introduced by long-time fan and friend, former President Barack Obama, who commemorated Carter for being a figurehead for black creativity and the American dream.
“Today, JAY-Z is one of the most renowned artists in history and the embodiment of the American dream. The dream he has helped make real for other young people like him,” Barrack Obama says.
Comedy legend, Dave Chappelle who was recruited to give Hov’s the induction speech, doubled down on the former President’s comments on JAY-Z’s resilience, taking a quote from fellow Hall of Famer Tupac Shakur. “[JAY-Z] is a diamond that was born of pressure,” Chappelle said. “To coin a phrase that fellow Hall of Famer made, Tupac Shakur, he called it a rose that grows from the concrete, and that to us is what hip-hop is.”
Hov finally took the stage to give an emotional speech, initially at a loss for words after hitting this monumental milestone in his musical career, starting his speech joking with, “Tryna make me cry in front of all these white people.”
2021 marks the first time two solo hip-hop acts are inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same ceremony as both JAY-Z and LL COOL J earn their spot in the coveted club of musical artists.
Be sure to tune into HBO’s original special of the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, available to stream on November 20.