Receiving five nominations this year may or may not have inspired Jay-Z’s return to the Grammys stage — but it’s clear that “God Did.”
Bringing music lovers to church Sunday, the 53-year-old Brooklynite rocked the mic alongside hip-hop heavyweights Rick Ross, 47, Lil Wayne, 40, rap newcomer Fridayy and singer John Legend, 44, on their DJ Khaled-produced collaboration “God Did” at the 65th annual Grammy Awards.
The smash hit earned three nods, including Song of the Year, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.
And the show-stopping showcase marked HOV’s long-awaited resurgence as a headliner at the awards gala, where he last performed “Drunk in Love” alongside wife Beyoncé, 41, in 2014.
But Jay — who’s earned bragging rights as the artist to receive the most-ever Grammy nominations (that is, before Queen Bey matched his feat this year with 88 noms of her own) — and the Recording Academy have not always seen eye-to-eye.
In fact, the mogul boycotted the Grammys for years, beginning in 1999 when he received his first of 24 golden gramophones in the “Best Rap Album” category for his acclaimed anthology “Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life.”
“By the way, the first time I boycotted the Grammys was for [DMX],” Jay revealed during his appearance on HBO’s “The Shop: Uninterrupted” in 2021.
“We both came out that year, he didn’t get nominated,” he continued of the late “Lose My Mind” emcee.
“I won that year for [Best] Rap Album, so my first Grammy win I wasn’t there,” Jay-Z added. “I wasn’t even in the building because I boycotted it for [DMX]. There was a competitive thing, but it was big love.”
He did not attend the awards ceremony until 2004, when Beyoncé took home an impressive five trophies.
“I realized, ‘Man, art is super subjective and everyone is doing their best, and the Academy, they’re human like we are,’” he confessed in 2018 at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy soirée. “They’re voting on things they like and it’s subjective.”