Jay-Z Says at GRAMMYs 2023 ‘Renaissance’ Should Have Won Album Of The Year

Jay-Z shares the throne for most GRAMMY wins by a rapper with Kanye West, but still feels like Hip-Hop and Black music at large don’t get their just due. The 53-year-old elaborated on the Recording Academy’s shortcomings, especially how Beyoncé’s Renaissance should have won Album Of The Year, in a new interview.

“Look what it’s done to the culture,” Hov told TIDAL’s Elliott Wilson in an exclusive conversation. “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. The whole entire joint — like, everything?!” The 4:44 artist went on to talk about all of the remixes people have done for songs on the LP, one of whom was a flip of Suga Free’s “I’d Rather Give You My Bi**h.”

“When it just inspires creativity, that’s an album. That has to be Album of the Year. It has to be.” Despite his conviction, the Brooklyn rapper was well aware of the fact the GRAMMYs often miss the mark. He spoke about Queen Bey’s 2013 self-titled album losing Album Of The Year in 2015 and her 2016 surprise album Lemonade losing in the same category at the 2017 show.

This year, the “Cuff It” artist won Best Dance/Electronic Recording for “Break My Soul” and Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for Renaissance, making her the record-breaking winningest artist in GRAMMYs history. Still, for her husband, that is not enough.
“For the culture, I love this sh*t so much I want them to get it right. I want to experience those moments when it’s the culmination of when Michael popped off. That moment left an indelible mark on us forever. Or when Lauryn Hill came through and it was Miseducation and she won those joints,” Hov said.
Hill walked away from the 1999 GRAMMYs with five awards, including Album Of The Year. While Kendrick Lamar has replicated similar success in recent years, Hip-Hop continually gets overlooked in the overall categories.

“The truth is, we grew up wanting to be on the Grammys, and it was our goal,” the Roc Nation founder said when speaking on both himself and Hip-Hop not getting their proper recognition. “We just want them to get it right. That’s what we want. … Obviously it’s music and it’s all subjective, but you got to be in the ballpark. That’s all we want. We just want them to get it right because we love it so much.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Jay-Z spoke on how his performance of “God Did” came together and the fact he performed the entire four-minute verse within an eight-minute record. “For the culture and for Hip-Hop, we got to do that. We owe that. This thing that changed our lives. We got to do that. A four-minute verse performed at the Grammys. We owe it to the culture, and it ain’t even a burden. It’s a blessing. It’s easy and fun.”

Hov joined DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, John Legend, and Fridayy for a performance that took place outside of Crypto.com Arena. The performance closed the show on a night when the GRAMMYs honored Hip-Hop on its 50th anniversary with a massive tribute performance led by LL Cool J. 

While the show got those things right, they had some glaring omissions such as not including the late Gangsta Boo, Lil Keed, Trouble, and Traci Braxton during the in-memoriam tribute performance where Quavo and Maverick City Music paid tribute to the late Takeoff by performing “Without You.”

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