The rap icon is up for eight awards at the New York event this evening
Jay-Z has opened up about why he chose to return to the Grammys after previously boycotting the event.
During Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala on Saturday night (January 27), the rapper picked up the Grammy Salute to Industry Icons Award. Speaking at the legendary annual event, Jay discussed why he chose to boycott the ceremony earlier in his career.
He claimed it was because fellow rapper DMX had been snubbed by the Grammys in 1999, despite having a highly successful year. Though Jay-Z didn’t attend, he went on to win Best Rap Album for his LP ‘Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life’.
Speaking of his reasons for returning, Jay said it was down to his wife Beyonce’s first solo project.
“I didn’t come back until 2004 when a beautiful, young lady whom I love dearly had a solo album,” he told the audience, according to ABC. “And I realised, ‘Man, art is super subjective and everyone is doing their best, and the Academy, they’re human like we are and they’re voting on things they like and it’s subjective.”
He added: “If we believe in it — ’cause we do, we can pretend that we don’t care but we really care — we care ’cause we’ve seen the most incredible artists stand on that stage and we’re inspired to be that, so I was like, ‘I have to be here.'”
Jay went on to say that everyone should “get involved and to push this thing further no matter what happens at the Grammys, it’s going to be what it is.”
“Bob Marley is going to be Bob Marley, whether he’s nominated for a Grammy or not,” he continued. “Tupac is going to be Tupac, Biggie is going to be Biggie.”
Jay-Z is up for eight awards at tonight’s ceremony, which will feature performances from Lady Gaga, Elton John, Kendrick Lamar, U2, Rihanna and more.
Potentially adding to the 21 Grammys won so far over his career, Jay’s nominated in the album, song and record of the year categories.
The 2018 Grammy Awards will take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden tonight (January 28). It will be hosted by James Corden.