Hip-Hop was in full effect at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland this past Saturday (Oct. 30), as rap icons Jay-Z and LL Cool J were both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in light of their respective musical contributions.
Inducted by former United States President Barack Obama and comedian Dave Chappelle, Hov took time out of his acceptance speech to pay homage to LL Cool J and other pioneers who helped influence and pave the way for him prior to his own career.
“I would watch these guys, and you know, they had big rope chains, and they wore leather, and sometimes even the red-black-green medallions, and whatever they wore, everybody would wear the next day. And I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be like those guys.’ And so I set out on my journey, writing at my table—shout out to Dr. Gloria Carter in the house. She bought me the green notebook.”
The Brooklyn native also gave a nod to former business partner and fellow Roc-A-Fella Records CEO Damon Dash, acknowledging the role Dash, who he’s been estranged from since selling 50 percent of their stake in the label to Universal Music Group in 2004.
“Shout out to Dame,” said Jay. “I know we don’t see eye to eye, but I can never erase your accomplishments. And I appreciate you, and I thank you for that.”
JAY-Z accepts his induction pic.twitter.com/lT7MDrLvFa
— Dr. Bryan McGeary (@BMcgeary) October 31, 2021
After receiving several nominations to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in past years, LL Cool J was finally given the Musical Excellence award, which was presented by Dr. Dre, who praised LL for transcending generations and reinventing himself throughout his career.
The Queens rep also gave thanks to “all of the people who voted for LL to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame year after year. … I wasn’t thinking about the people who voted against me. I was thinking about the people who voted for me.” The G.O.A.T. continued, adding, “It was love—‘Wow, there’s some people over there who won’t take no for an answer. This is a guy who deserves to be in there, and we gotta keep fighting to get him in there!’ Hall of Fame, know my name!”
In addition to Jay-Z and LL Cool J, inductees in this year’s class were headlined by Kraftwerk, Tina Turner, The Go-Gos, and several other acts. Key performances included a set by LL Cool J, who was joined by Eminem and Jennifer Lopez, as well as Taylor Swift, LL COOL J, Carole King, Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera, and the Go-Gos. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony is slated to air on HBO and HBO Max on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Eminem makes a surprise appearance to perform with LL Cool J pic.twitter.com/hSxqF2hYuG
— David Onda (@David_Onda) October 31, 2021