Dave Chappelle was joined by Beyoncé and Barack Obama in honoring the Roc Nation chief at this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction.
Over the weekend, some of the biggest names in music (and entertainment at large,) gathered in Cleveland, Ohio to salute their friends and colleagues for being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The 2021 class of honorees included JAY-Z, Tina Turner, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, The Foo Fighters, and The Go-Go’s. And while the ceremony was characteristically star-powered, the inner circle of one particular newly-minted Hall of Fame member was not like the rest.
A handful of clips that surfaced in the hours following the ceremony reveal Hov was commemorated by Dave Chappelle, Barack Obama, and his wife, Beyoncé, at this year’s festivities. Though clips of Bey’s tribute have yet to pop up, segments from Chappelle and Obama’s appearances preview touching commemorations from the comedian and former president. “It is an incredible honor to induct this next man into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But I need everybody in rock n’ roll to know, that even though you are honoring him, he is ours. He is hip-hop. Forever and ever, and a day,” Chappelle said in a heartfelt speech. “We don’t have a complicated, emotional vocabulary. We have to make everything look easy, and this man is a diamond that was born of pressure. To coin a phrase that fellow Hall of Famer made, Tupac Shakur, he called it ‘a rose that grows from the concrete,’ and that to us is what hip-hop is,” Chappelle added.
Obama spoke to the ways Hov’s music has aided him at different points in his political career. “I’ve turned to JAY-Z’s words at different points in my life, whether I was brushing dirt off my shoulder on the campaign trail, or sampling his lyrics on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of the Selma march to Montgomery,” Obama said. “Today, JAY-Z is one of the most renowned artists in history and an embodiment of the American dream, a dream he has helped make real for other young people like him.”
Watch snippets of both Dave Chappelle and JAY-Z at this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction below. The full ceremony is set to arrive on HBO Max on November 20th.