Jay Z has become the first rapper to enter the Songwriters Hall of Fame and celebrated by listing the artists that he draw inspiration from.
The ’99 Problems’ hitmaker has joined the likes of the late John Lennon, Sir Elton John, Burt Bacharach and Lionel Richie in the distinguished group after being nominated for the honour by his musical peers. And a string of stars have paid tribute to the music mogul following his induction, with U2 frontman Bono hailing him the “archangel of hip”.
Bono said via Tidal: “Archangel of hip. Jay Z’s lyrics and music touch every emotion: rage, love, sadness, joy and tragedy. Jay Z started taking notes on his life early on, he reported what he saw and what he felt and he took us with him. Most of us first heard him when we heard ‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’ perfectly juxtaposing the beauty of childhood and the reality he lived in. He got us listening, and we’ve been listening ever since. A true artist that follows Miles Davis’ definition of a true artist, ‘It’s not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.’ ”
Tidal shared tributes from a string of artists, including Quincy Jones, Nicki Minaj, Jon Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Andre 3000. In a video statement, Quincy said: “I can’t tell you how proud I am of him and that they’re taking the step to understand that hip-hop is a huge part of our culture. “He knows why God gave us two ears and one mouth – that means you’re supposed to listen twice as much as you talk. Jay Z has earned the right to be the first rapper [in the Hall of Fame].”
Jay Z did not shy away from sharing his excitement on his new acolades on Twitter. He sent out shout outs to those who inspired him throughout his career.