Jay-Z added another milestone to his illustrious career by becoming the first living solo rapper to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. The billionaire rapper was inducted into the 2021 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on Saturday (Oct. 30) alongside Carole King, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner, the Go-Go’s, LL Cool J, and Foo Fighters.
During the ceremony held at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Mr. Carter received recorded tributes from some of his friends including Barrack Obama, LeBron James, Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Diddy, Beyoncé, Regina King, Halle Berry and Blue Ivy.
In a pre-recorded footage Barrack Obama hailed Jay Z ‘as the embodiment of the American dream.’
“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,” Mr Obama said.
He added: “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.”
Controversial comedian Dave Chappelle also had nice things to say about the self proclaimed “greatest rapper alive.”
“This is an incredible honour to induct this next man into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But I need everybody in rock and roll [to] know that even though we are honouring him, he is ours. He is hip-hop. Forever and ever and a day,” Dave Chapelle said during his induction speech for Hov.
“He will always remember us,” he added. “That we are his point of reference, that he is going to show us how far we can go if we just get hold of the opportunity. For this, we will always love him, we always treasure him.”
In his acceptance speech Hov thanked his mother, Dr. Gloria Carter and other rap greats for inspiring him.
“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 rope chains and leather and sometimes even the red, black, and green medallions and whatever they wore, everybody would wear the next day,” said Jay-Z. “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, “Shout out to Dr. Gloria Carter in the house, she bought me a green notebook. My sister, Annie, right there, she told me to say that she wrote my first rap, but I actually wrote her first rap.”
The 51-year old hip-hop mogul also shared a story about getting a call from Obama prior to the 2012 election.
“He called me and he said, ‘You know, it’s the fourth quarter. We’re down two. I need you to assist me, give me the ball, I’m Michael Jordan and I’ll get this done. I need you to go to Miami, Philly, Atlanta, and Ohio.’ And I thought like, ‘Man, hip-hop was really an agent for change and how amazing is its reach that this man is calling me to help out when he campaigned…I thought, ‘Ni**a, I’m Michael Jordan.’ That’s what I really thought.”
He continued, “That just shows me the power of hip-hop, the power of these heroes who let me know that these things are possible. Shout out to Kendrick [Lamar], who is a beautiful person. Hopefully [I’m showing the] next generation that anything is possible.”
Watch JAY-Z’s full Rock & Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech below: