Jay-Z made history over the weekend as the first living solo rap artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The artist was introduced by former U.S. president Barack Obama and embattled comedian Dave Chappelle, who mused about his impact as a musician. During his acceptance speech, the 51-year-old spoke about how he grew up not believing that rappers could be inducted into the Hall of Fame as hip-hop was sold as a "fad".
"Thank you, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for this incredible honour. And you know, growing up, we didn't think we could be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We were told that hip-hop was a fad," the hitmaker began. "Much like punk rock, it gave us this anti-culture, this subgenre, and there were heroes in it."
The rapper, real name Shawn Carter, went on to thank his mother, Gloria Carter, his sister, and business partners Tyran 'Ty Ty' Smith and Damon Dash. He listed his heroes – Notorious B.I.G., Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One and Chuck D, and fellow inductee, LL Cool J – who he said sported "big gold chains and leather and sometimes even the red, black, green medallions and whatever they wore, everybody would wear the next day. 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."
"Hopefully, I'm informing the next generation that anything is possible," he continued, saying his next step is to go to "court on Monday," referencing his current court case with perfume company Parlux Fragrances. He joked that life is all about "balance" and ended with a victorious, "We did it, Brooklyn!"