Recently Jay-Z took the stage at a New York dinner attended by music industry titans to discuss his complex relationship with music’s highest honours, where the odds are historically stacked against hip-hop artists winning top accolades.
Jay-Z, who was honoured by the Recording Academy at veteran music producer Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party, spoke about his decision to boycott the Grammy awards in 1998 when rapper DMX did not get any nominations despite having two hit albums out that year.
Jay-Z said he only returned to the awards show in 2004, when Beyonce, to whom he is now married, was nominated for her breakout solo album.
“The Academy, they’re human like we are and they’re voting on things that they like, it’s subjective … we care because we’re seeing the most incredible artists standing on that stage and we aspire to be there, so I was like, I have to be here,” the rapper said.
“It’s our duty to make sure that not only are we making the greatest art, that we’re upholding and supporting things that are super real,” he added.
The rapper has won 21 Grammy awards over his career, but he is yet to win the top accolades for song, record or album of the year, all of which he is nominated for.