Barack Obama helped introduce Jay-Z to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that was held on Saturday, October 30, and gave a speech on the rapper’s influence on him.
The former U.S. president established him as the last rap star to receive the honor, who joins former hip-hop members including The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, N.W.A. and Public Enemy.
Obama said in a speech: “I have returned to Jay-Z’s words at various times in my life, whether I was wiping dirt from my shoulder during my campaign, or reading his texts on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of the march of Selma to Montgomery. “Today, Jay-Z is one of the most recognizable artists in history and an embodiment of the American dream, a dream he has helped realize for other young people like him.”
His speech was followed by a video montage featuring Beyoncé, Rihanna, Chris Rock, David Letterman, Queen Latifah, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Diddy and Jamie Foxx all reciting some of Jay-Z’s most memorable lyrics. The video closed with Beyonce’s rapper and eldest daughter, Blue Ivy, quoting the lyrics to the song “Ride Or Die”.
Comedian Dave Chappelle then introduced Jay-Z on stage. In his acceptance speech, Jay-Z appealed to his mother, Gloria Carter, and Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Dame Dash.
During the ceremony as well, Taylor Swift paid homage to Carole King with a live performance of the song by the iconic singer-songwriter “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”