This will be a historic night for Jay Z and the world of hip hop.
On Thursday night, Hov will become the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. But before the induction ceremony kicked off, he made sure to give a shout out to all the artists who have inspired him over the years.
Jay shared a list of names in a series of tweets, showing love to everyone from Chuck D and Ice Cube to Drake and Meek Mill to Future and Lil Wayne. It was a varied bunch that included rap godfathers like Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel; Golden Age icons such as Rakim, Queen Latifah, and Kool G. Rap (not for nothing did Hov once declare, "Hearing me rap is like hearing G. Rap in his prime"); former mentors Jaz-O and Big Daddy Kane; his contemporaries like Scarface, Redman, Pharoahe Monch, Black Thought, Andre 3000, and the late great Big L; and more, including many new artists who will undoubtedly be thrilled at their inclusion.
And showing that he was in a particularly welcoming mood, Jay even included some people he had beefed with over the years: Jaz-O, Cam'ron, Nas, and Joe Budden. He also makes reference to dimly remembered, long-ago battles against GZA and Busta Rhymes, well before anyone involved was famous.
You can check out the full list in the posts below.
He concluded the tweet storm with the following thanks:
And then, one last batch of names.
Okay, two (or three):
And then he thanked Obama and released a short movie—a video message from the former president to the crowd at the induction ceremony.
You can see the speech below.
In the speech, Obama called Jay "a friend of mine." "I'd like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today... We know what it's like not to come from much... And so we try to prop open those doors of opportunities so it's a little easier for those who come up behind us... Jay and I are also fools for our daughters, although he's going to have me beat once those two twins show up. And, let's face it, we both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are."
Obama then talked about how he was a longtime fan of Jay's work, and got in a slight dig at his successor: "I'm pretty sure I'm still the only president to listen to Jay Z's music in the Oval Office," he said.
Even after the release of the induction speech, Jay kept the names coming.