Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, February 5, 2024
Jay-Z used his acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards on Sunday to call on the Recording Academy to do more to “get it right” when it comes to honoring Black artists, noting that his wife, Beyoncé, has never won the coveted album of the year — despite having the most Grammys in history.
Taking to the stage to accept the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award for his achievements in music, the rapper noted “how far we’ve come” since Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff won the first rap Grammy in 1989.
Jay-Z recalled how the duo boycotted the ceremony because the rap category was not televised at the time — and how he boycotted the Grammys around 10 years later when the late rapper DMX released two No. 1 albums but was not nominated for an award.
“We want you to get it right; we love you, but we want you to get it right — at least get it close to right,” Jay-Z said of the Grammys as he stood alongside his daughter Blue Ivy Carter. “Some of you may get robbed,” he said, adding, “Some of you don’t belong in the category.”
A string of African American artists, including Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Sean “Diddy” Combs, have also taken stands through speeches and boycotts over the years to push the Grammys to recognize the hip-hop community and Black talent. “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys,” Diddy said at a pre-ceremony gala in 2020.