JAY-Z had the honor of being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in October alongside LL COOL J. To commemorate Hov’s achievement, The Roots’ Questlove brought together some of the biggest musicians, actors and comedians in the world to read lyrics from his immense catalog, with Skillz being tasked with picking and arranging all of the rhymes.
Among the huge names in the clip are Beyoncé, Common, DJ Khaled, Diddy, Regina King, Lenny Kravitz, DJ Premier, John Legend, Kevin Hart, Halle Berry, Aziz Ansari, Jamie Foxx, Chris Martin, Usher, Rick Ross, Rihanna, Pharrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Sheeran, DJ Clark Kent, Chris Rock, LeBron James, Jermaine Dupri, RZA, Alicia Keys, SZA, Tracee Ellis Ross and Idris Elba.
JAY-Z’s mom, Gloria Carter, also makes an appearance, with his daughter Blue Ivy closing out the video by reciting lyrics from 1998’s “Ride or Die.”
“Thank you Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for this incredible honor,” he said at the time. “And you know, growing up, we didn’t think we could be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We were told that Hip Hop was a fad. Much like punk rock, it gave us this anticulture, this subgenre, and there were heroes in it.”
JAY-Z continued, “When thinking about what I was going to say tonight, these heroes just kept coming to my mind… Rakim and Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One and Chuck D, and, of course, a fellow inductee, LL Cool J. I watch these guys, and they have big gold chains and leather and sometimes even the red, black, green medallions and whatever they wore, everybody would wear the next day.
“I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be like those guys.’ And so I set out on my journey.”