During Trevor Noah’s monologue at the beginning of the Grammys telecast he made mention that Jay-Z and Beyoncé would be in the house — which was weird after learning late last week Beyoncé’s rumoured participation in a Tina Turner tribute was not happening. So why were they there?
Turns out Jay was receiving the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. And I’m not saying he’s not deserving of the award, but I am saying he may have gotten it this specific year because the Grammys needed a reason to get the queen back in the room (and more specifically on their telecast) after they played in her face again last year. So I was living when Jay got up on stage to accept the award with Blue Ivy by his side and Beyoncé looking up at him from the audience and proceeded to play right back.
Jay started by mentioning how Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff boycotted the Grammys after winning the very first Grammy Award for rap music after learning the category wouldn’t be televised and essentially highlighted how Black genres, his culture, and his people have been disrespected by the institution ever since. Then he referenced Beyoncé as the ultimate example:
“I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year,” Jay said. “So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work. Think about that. The most Grammys; never won Album of the Year. That doesn’t work.”
I was ready to lick my fingers right there. That was delicious. I was satiated. Artists love to talk sh-t about the Grammys on social media, but it’s usually when they’re overlooked or perennially snubbed. Not often is it when they have a chance to win, let alone are in the middle of accepting one on TV. Blue Ivy never looked more like Beyoncé than when she was standing there next to her dad, pretending like everything was fine. I know Beyoncé was so embarrassed. (Sidenote: Is her hat another clue Act II is a country album?). He continued:
“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.”
That’s tea. And you know he’s spilling because the audience responded like he touched a nerve. They may have thought he was saying some people aren’t good enough to warrant their nomination and maybe he was? I thought he was calling out the Academy for its practice of segregating Black artists who are clearly making pop records to “Urban” categories.
He ended his speech by holding Blue’s hand and telling (Black) artists, “Keep showing up until they give you all the accolades you think you deserve. Until they call you chairman. Until they call you genius. Until they call you the greatest of all time”.
So yeah, Beyoncé’s has been robbed of multiple Album of the Year Grammys, but maybe Jay’s saying we should put less value on Grammys and remember she’s the GOAT. The Carters already showed us a Grammy’s worth when Blue Ivy used hers as a sippy cup.
And true to his 2016 verse on the “All the Way Up” remix, he chases his speech by using the special onyx Grammy as a D'Ussé cup.
JAY-Z turns his GRAMMY into a drink cup after using his speech to call out The Academy on BeyoncÃ©'s behalf. pic.twitter.com/3Srr2mUlRx— BEYONCÃ‰ LEGION (@BeyLegion) February 5, 2024