Blame it on Katt Williams’ interview with Shannon Sharpe or blame it on the lingering effects of a brand new year, but 2024 is the year of radical truths and truth-tellers. And if you needed further proof of that, look no further than Jay-Z—whose acceptance speech at the 2024 Grammys lit the internet on fire.
Accepting the award for the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, the “4:44″ rapper kissed his wife Beyonce before he and his eldest daughter Blue Ivy Carter made their way onto the stage. Quipping that Blue has aged out of him using the Grammys as a sippy cup for her, Jay thanked Dr. Dre for his impact on music and for paving the way for rappers to crossover. But it was after that acknowledgment that Jay’s speech turned from a standard one to a shady-ass one filled with jabs at both the Grammys themselves and fellow artists.
First off, he mentioned how Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff boycotted the awards show in 1989 but watched it at a hotel afterwards (“it wasn’t a great boycott,” Jay said). He followed it up by saying how he took a page out of their book in’98 and boycotted the Grammys too after DMX’s two rap albums that year failed to receive nominations by the Recording Academy—despite them both being number one on the charts.
“I’m just saying. We want y’all to get it right. love yall, we love y’all, we love y’all. We just want y’all to get it right,” Hov said. “We want y’all to get it right. Or get it close to right.”
The “Everything Is Love” rapper then took the time to call out the Grammys for their skewed metrics, specifically as it relates to how Bey was able to amass over 30 Grammys, yet never take home the coveted Album of the Year Award.
“I don’t want to embarrass this young lady but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won album of the year. So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work,” Jay said, explicitly referencing his wife’s historic 32 Grammy wins. “Think about that: the most Grammys, never won album of the year. That doesn’t work. Think about that. The most Grammys, but never won Album of the Year. It doesn’t work. You know, some of you gon’ go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed. Some of you may get robbed. Some of you don’t belong in the category. Nah, nah. nah. When I get nervous, I tell the truth.”
After hearing nervous laughs from the audience, Jay-Z let his foot up off the gas—but only momentarily to grab his daughters hand—just to encourage everybody watching to keep showing up until others give you the accolades you deserve.
Whew child! Talk about taking them to task. Talking shit about the Grammys while at the Grammys with a Grammy in your hand? That’s a new level of unbothered for sure and one that Jay had probably been waiting to unlock for some time yet.
Like Katt Williams said, 2024 is the year that all lies get exposed, and all liars too, it seems like it! If this chaotic yet honest energy is what 2024 has in store—then we all better brace ourselves for what’s to come for the rest of the 10 months left.