Jay-Z arrived to the 2024 Grammys Sunday (Feb. 4) to accept the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, bringing wife Beyoncè and daughter Blue Ivy with him.
Taking the stage at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles with Blue Ivy to make his speech, Jay-Z first thanked the award’s namesake — who was watching from the audience — acknowledging Dr. Dre, saying that “all the doors that you opened showed us we could be rock stars.”
Jay-Z then thanked the Grammys’ Black Music Collective for “all the work you guys do … how far we’ve come since Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff winning their first Grammy in ’89 and boycotting because [the award] wasn’t televised.” Jay then joked that Smith and Jeff “went to a hotel and watched the Grammys … it wasn’t a great boycott.” The camera then panned to Meryl Streep laughing hard in the audience.
Jay-Z’s speech then started to get spicy. “Then in ’98, I took a page out of their book. I was nominated for best rap album, and DMX had dropped two albums that year, they both were No. 1 — shout out to DMX — and he wasn’t nominated at all, so I boycotted, and” — he said with a laugh — “I watched the Grammys.”
Jay’s message then took a more serious tone as he continued, “I’m just saying, we want y’all to get it right. We love y’all; we love y’all; we want you to get it right, or at least get it close to right, and obviously it’s subjective … because it’s music and it’s opinion-based, but some things — I don’t wan to embarrass this young lady” — referring to Beyoncè — “but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won album of the year, so even by your own metrics that doesn’t work. Think about that. The most Grammys and never won an album of the year. That doesn’t work.
“Some of you are going to go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed,” he continued. “Some of you may get robbed, some of you don’t belong in the category — when I get nervous I tell the truth.
“But outside of that, we’ve gotta keep showing up. And forget the Grammys for a second, just in life — as my daughter sits and stares at me nervous as I am — just in life, you’ve gotta keep showing up and keep showing up. Forget the Grammys. You’ve got to keep showing up until they give you all those accolades you feel you deserve, until they call you ‘chairman,’ until they call you a ‘genius,’ until they call you ‘the greatest of all time.’ You feel me?”