While receiving the esteemed Dr. Dre Global Impact Award at the 2024 Grammy Awards, Jay-Z seized the moment to address a long-standing gripe with The Recording Academy. Accompanied by his eldest daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, the Roc Nation founder accepted the prestigious accolade, but not without delivering a speech.
Jay-Z directed attention to The Recording Academy’s oversight in not awarding Beyoncé, his wife of nearly 16 years, with the Album of the Year Grammy, despite her remarkable 32 wins—the most in Grammy history. “I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year,” Jay-Z stated, challenging the Academy’s own metrics. The audience reacted audibly, with one member echoing Jay’s sentiments with a resounding “preach.”
#JayZ has made an incredible impact in the music industry, with a legacy that spans over 30 years and 24 #GRAMMYs wins. We are so proud to award him with the 2nd-ever Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. pic.twitter.com/hny7Ybc7UD— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 5, 2024
Undeterred, Jay-Z continued to lay bare his thoughts, acknowledging the palpable sense of injustice felt by artists in attendance. “Some of you gonna 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,” he declared, unapologetically voicing his unease.
With a nod to hip-hop legends like Dr. Dre, Will Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and the late DMX, Jay-Z highlighted the strides made by the genre while reminiscing about past Grammy controversies. “How far we have come,” he reflected, recalling instances where hip-hop artists boycotted the ceremony, emphasizing the ongoing struggle for recognition within mainstream institutions.
66th annual GRAMMY Awards— D'USSÉ (@DusseCognac) February 5, 2024
February 4, 2024 pic.twitter.com/9OANxOljkr
The 2024 Grammy Awards failed to televise any rap categories, underscoring persistent disparities within the industry. Notably, Killer Mike, a recipient of three rap Grammys, was arrested shortly after the ceremony—an ironic twist underscoring the complexities of recognition in the music world.
As Jay-Z concluded his speech, he was spotted once again sipping from his Grammy, a symbol of both triumph and defiance. Reflecting on Beyoncé’s artistry, he reiterated his belief in her deservingness of the Album of the Year award.