Rapper LL Cool J also received a special induction ceremony this evening.
Hov’s introduction video was packed with plenty of famous faces, including his wife Beyoncé, Chris Rock, Diddy, Samuel L. Jackson, LeBron James, and more. Following that came a pre-recorded message from Obama, who had plenty of kind words to share about Shawn Carter.
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“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 Petty’s Bridge on the 50th anniversary of the Selma march to Montgomery,” the 60-year-old said. “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.”
After the former president’s message, Chappelle took the stage to share a few words. He began his speech by saying, “I would like to apologize–I’m just f*ckin’ with you,” seemingly alluding to the ongoing drama surrounding his recent Netflix original, The Closer.
“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. For ever and ever, and a day,” he told the audience, before going on to talk about the obvious impact that Jay-Z and others in his league have had on the culture.
During his speech, Hov paid his dues to the people that helped him become the man that he is today. “Shout out to Dame [Dash]; I know we don’t see eye to eye, but I can never erase your accomplishments, and I appreciate you and thank you for that. And shout out to [Kareem] ‘Biggs’ [Burke]; he’s one of the most honorable people I’ve ever met. We created something that will probably never be duplicated.”
See a part of the rapper’s speech below, and look out for more of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies when they hit HBO Max on November 20th.