Jay-Z on Beyoncé Deserving Album of the Year, ‘God Did’ Performance and Complex Relationship With Grammys: ‘It’s Just a Marketing Thing’ Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands

Leading up to their historic eight-minute rap performance of “God Did It” at the 2023 Grammys, Jay-Z and DJ Khaled reflected on their complicated relationship with the institution in an interview with Tidal, a subscription-based music platform. is a service that Jay-Z owns a portion of.

The interview, which was released on Monday, includes reflections on Khaled and Jay-Z at Sunday’s Grammys.

Jay-Z shared that he had boycotted the Grammys in the past when he felt the institution wasn’t even close to getting him “right.” “The truth is, we grew up wanting to be at the Grammys, and that was our goal,” he said. “We just want them to fix it. That’s what we want… Obviously, it’s music and it’s all subjective, but you’ve got to be in the ballpark. The rapper referenced the 2015 and 2017 contests, When Beyoncé, his wife, did not win Album of the Year for “Beyoncé” and “Lemonade,” respectively.

The rapper reflected on the 1999 Grammys, where he didn’t attend despite his album “Hard Knock Life” winning album of the year: “I remember in ’99 when they wouldn’t let us on stage, nothing. No. I boycotted. That was my year. I sold five million. Number 1 for five weeks, never done before. ‘Hard Life.’ “I didn’t go when they shut down DMX, which released two albums,” Jay-Z said.

She shares Beyoncé’s record for all-time Grammy nominations with 88.

Despite feeling the Grammys get it wrong, especially with hip-hop, the rapper acknowledged that everyone wants to win. “It’s just a marketing thing. You go, you’ve got an album and that might help drive sales,” he said. “But deep down, again, we grew up idolizing him. happened It was like a pillar for us. It was like, ‘We want to go gold.’

Interviewed before the ceremony, where album of the year ultimately went to Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House,” the rapper shared that he believes Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” deserves the title. “Look what he did to the culture. Look how the energy of the world moved. They play his whole album in the club. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it. The whole joint — like, everything. ,” he said.

The decision to participate in Sunday night’s triple-Grammy-nominated performance of “God Did It,” featuring JZ’s four-minute-plus verse, came down to a sense of duty to the genre. “For culture and hip-hop, we had to do it. We owe it. This thing that changed our lives,” Jay-Z said. “The four-minute verse was presented in Grammy. We owe it to culture, and it’s not a burden. It’s a blessing. It’s easy and fun.”

The song features a star-studded lineup including John Legend, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Friday, in addition to Khaled and Jay-Z. The performance came in the same year that the awards show celebrated 50 years of hip-hop.

“When the Grammys announced the date and he had some time, the stars aligned,” Khaled said. “Songs are so special. We all make so many records. But there’s always those special moments, those special records.

A Grammy performance of “God Did” closed the show, filmed outside the Crypto.com Arena, with a “Last Supper” tableaux set up in the middle of the street, decorated with candles and treats.

Khalid said that Jay doesn’t even perform for himself. “For him to do it for me and to do it for the people and to do it for hip-hop — that’s the greatest blessing. To me, he’s our leader. A leader did what he was supposed to do. That’s called showing up.” “

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