In a series of nine tweets over about an hour-span, Jay Z -- who rarely uses social media -- thanked dozens of fellow artists including Rakim, 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Nas, J. Cole, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj, De La Soul, Eminem and plenty more.
Jay Z was absent from the awards presumably due his wife Beyonce's pregnancy with twins, which are expected to be delivered soon according to reports. In the rapper's place, his longtime longtime friend and music publisher, Warner/Chappell CEO Jon Platt, delivered an acceptance speech in his honor at the New York City induction ceremony.
“When it comes to the industry’s biggest honors, the hip-hop community has a very long history of being told ‘you’re not songwriters,’ ‘you’re not quite there yet,’ 'it’s not your time.' Well, to all the songwriters and artists from our community and our generation, Jay would want you to know that this induction is a signal that your time has come and your time is now," Platt said. "He would tell up-and-coming hip-hop artists today that there can be no mistake or question that you are indeed songwriters, and your gift cannot ever be overlooked. And Jay would want you to know that as proud as he is to be the first, he’s even more proud that he won’t be the last.
"I’ve been in this business a long time and I’ve seen a lot of things come and go, but legends? Legends are forever and, tonight, Shawn Carter takes his rightful place among the legends in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and this moment will live on forever. On behalf of Jay, I thank you for this honor of a lifetime."
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Jay Z went on and on making his own speech of sorts. Between noting new influences every few moments, he also called out Tee Grizzley for making what he called the "best song out," presumably speaking of the Detroit rapper's "First Day Out" (or possibly one of his newer singles ""Second Day Out" or "From the D to the A" featuring Lil Yachty).
Jay Z continued, promising he was "not drunk" and thanked many others, very notably including former President Barack Obama with a link to the 44th commander-in-chief's video speech welcoming the rapper into the Hall of Fame. In the video, Obama says he’s pretty sure that he was "the only president to listen to Jay-Z's music in the Oval Office."