Dave Chappelle Inducted Jay-Z Into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

He wasn't the only one honoring Jay-Z, either

Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle speaks onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Last night’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony saw some of the biggest names in music honored by some of the biggest names in popular culture. Some of the pairings — Paul McCartney inducting Foo Fighters — were logical, while others — Drew Barrymore inducting the Go-Gos — just seemed inspired. And then there’s the case of Jay-Z, whose induction featured a former president — which might not have been the most notable thing about it.

Barack Obama was among those who addressed Jay-Z’s musical talents and cultural importance. But it was Dave Chappelle who was tasked with handling the induction itself — and if you guessed that Chappelle might have used the opportunity to address the backlash he’s faced over The Closer, you are absolutely correct.

Chappelle took to the stage holding a small piece of paper, from which he began to read. “I would like to apologize—” he said before stopping and having a chuckle, then assuring the audience that he was kidding.

Chappelle’s ensuing reaction — and the laughs and cheers he got from the crowd — will disappoint anyone hoping for a resolution to the controversy surrounding The Closer.

As for Jay-Z, he spoke about the importance of hip-hop in his own life, and drew a comparison between it and another style of music that arose at around the same time. “We were told that hip-hop was a fad. Much like punk rock, it gave us this anti-culture, this subgenre, and there were heroes in it,” he said in his speech. It’s another highlight from a constantly high-profile career in music.

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