Renowned rapper Jay-Z was honored with the Dr. Dre Global Impact award at Sunday’s Grammy Awards ceremony. But when the 54-year-old took the stage to deliver his acceptance speech, he unexpectedly slammed the Recording Academy over his wife Beyoncé’s Album of the Year snubs – though she holds the record for the most Grammy wins.
Prior to questioning why his wife had zero Grammy Album of the Year wins despite being nominated on four occasions, the billionaire rapper touched on when Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff boycotted the Grammys in 1989 over the Recording Academy’s refusal to televise the award presentation for its best rap performance category.
“How far we have come with Will Smith, the Fresh Prince winning their first Grammy in ’89 and boycotting, because it was not televised,” the Reasonable Doubt rapper said, per Variety. “And then they went to a hotel to watch the Grammys. I don’t even understand, it was not a great boycott.”
Jay-Z, however, revealed that he “took a page out of their book” in 1998 when he was nominated for best rap album. “And DMX put out two, they were both number one, and he was not nominated at all,” he said.
“So I boycotted and I watched. I’m just saying, we want you all to get it right. We love y’all, we love y’all. We want you to get it right — or at least get it close to right. And obviously, it’s subjective, because it’s music and its opinion-based, but some things…”
The legendary rapper then made reference to his wife never earning a Grammy award for Album of the Year. “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 said after looking at Beyoncé.
“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.”
With 32 honors, Beyoncé holds the record for most Grammy wins. She has, however, never won a Grammy for Album of the Year, though she has earned four nominations in that category. Jay-Z’s recent comments also come after he previously touched on his wife’s Grammy snubs after her Renaissance album failed to win the Album of the Year at the 2023 Grammy Awards.
“The truth is, we grew up wanting to be on the Grammys, and it was our goal. We just want them to get it right. That’s what we want,” he told Tidal in 2023 when he asked about not winning some Grammys in the past. “Even with Bey, I felt like they missed the moment. Not just Lemonade; [also] when Beck won over her [for album of the year at the 2015 show]. I was like, ‘Oh, y’all missed it.'”
The 4:44 rapper in the interview also shared why he was of the view that his wife’s Renaissance album deserved that accolade. “Look what it’s done to the culture. Look how the energy of the world moved. They play her whole album in the club. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that,” he explained.
“The whole entire joint — like, everything?! Every remix is amazing. Everyone’s inspired. It has inspired the world. Every remix is better than the other one. From anybody, we’re just finding these joints out in the street. Somebody just did a joint over Suga Free the other day — you heard this joint? (JAY pulls out his phone and plays Suga’s ‘I’d Rather Give You My B**ch.’) It’s a West Coast classic. The DJ put Bey’s vocals over this at a party and it went crazy.”
He added: “It’s inspiring creativity. You know how The Black Album had The Grey Album [Danger Mouse’s 2004 mashup project]? And the one with Radiohead? It was called Jaydiohead [Minty Fresh Beats’ 2009 mashup]. When it just inspires creativity, that’s an album. That has to be Album of the Year. It has to be.”