Former US President Barack Obama introduced Jay-Z with his characteristic understated wit at the rapper-turned-entertainment mogul’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction here on Saturday evening (US Eastern Time).
“I can relate to Jay-Z, because we are both married to women more popular than us,” Obama said. Jay-Z is married to the singer-actress Beyonce, who too was one of the biggest names in entertainment to appear in a video tribute before the rapper’s Hall of Fame induction.
Others featuring in the who’s who tribute included DJ Khaled, Sean Combs, Usher, Rihanna, Pharrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Ed Sheeran, Chris Rock, Trevor Noah, Lin-Manuel Miranda, H.E.R., LeBron James, Common and John Legend, reports ‘Variety’.
Comedian Dave Chappelle took to the stage to introduce Jay-Z with these powerful words: “I need everybody in rock and roll to know that even though you are honouring him, he is ours. You embody Black excellence.”
An emotional Jay-Z held back tears to say, “Y’all trying to make me cry in front of all these white people!” He then thanked his family (especially his mother Gloria Carter), paid tribute to hip-hop pioneers, and also hailed his rivals, notably Roc-A-Fella Records’ Damon Dash.
The other hip-hop induction into the Hall of Fame was that of LL Cool J. Eminem took to the stage in the Queens rapper’s honour, performing ‘Rock the Bells’ and Jennifer Lopez joined in for ‘All I Have’, after which LL, flanked by a dance troupe, launched into a medley of his own, including snippets from ‘Go Cut Creator Go’ and ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’, reports ‘Variety’.