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Sunday, October 31, 2021

Jay-Z Inducted Into Rock Hall Of Fame


An emotional Jay-Z joked that the tributes at the ceremony were “trying to make me cry in front of all these white people."

“Brooklyn’s finest,” Jay-Z, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Saturday night among 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’s been a driving force in the music industry for over two decades, was honored with a speech by a former president. Barack Obama, who previously paid tribute to Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter when he became the first rapper in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, delivered moving remarks about how Jay-Z’s music has served as a soundtrack to some of his most pivotal moments.

“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 in a taped video message. “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.”

His comments arrived after a star-studded video introduction for the hip-hop mogul, which featured his wife BeyoncĂ© and their daughter Blue Ivy Carter reciting 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 many more.

But only one major Jay-Z fan chose to honor the rapper in person: The controversial comedian Dave Chappelle, who permanently resides in Ohio, appeared at the ceremony as the final induction speaker.

After a “massive ovation from the crowd,” per Rolling Stone, Chappelle began his remarks by saying, “I would like to apologize to … Nah, I’m just fucking with you,” presumably referencing the backlash to the transphobic material in his recent Netflix special, “The Closer.” Since its release, Chappelle has defiantly stood by his jokes despite the pushback on Netflix’s support of the special, which resulted in employees staging a walkout in protest of how the company has handled the response.

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