The comedian also told a story about posing for a photo with Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, during a Roots Jam Session. “Jay says to me, ‘You must have a lot of pressure on you to say funny sh– all the time,’” Chappelle recalled. “And I looked at Jay and said, ‘Well, you must have a lot of pressure on you to say cool sh– all the time.’ And Jay looked at me and said, ‘It ain’t no pressure. I just do it.’ I looked at Jay and said, ‘My God, man — you just did it again!’”
Chappelle’s remarks were preceded by a taped tribute from former President Barack Obama and by a montage of all-stars — including Beyonce and their daughter Blue Ivy Carter, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Diddy, Common, Queen Latifah and others — quoting lyrics from Jay-Z songs.
In a lengthy acceptance speech, Jay-Z cracked that the adoring crowd response was “trying to make me cry in front of all these white people.” He shouted out to influences such as KRS-One, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, fellow inductee LL Cool J and others. “Growing up, we didn’t think we could be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Jay-Z noted. “We were told hip-hop was a fad, and much like punk rock, it gave us this anti-culture, this sub-genre, and there were heroes in it.”
He also singled out Damon Dash, his former manager and Roc-A-Fella Records partner, noting that, “I know we don’t see eye to eye, but I can never erase your contributions. …We created something that’ll probably never be duplicated.”
The Rock Hall inductions were filmed by HBO and will be aired starting Nov. 20.