In a moment that has now gone viral, Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z talked about why he boycotted the GRAMMY Awards in 1999 because the National Academy of Recording Arts & Science didn’t nominate DMX, who arguably had the best year in rap history.
In 1998, DMX made history by dropping two classic albums in one year, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, The Dog’s debut album dropped on May 19, 1998, and broke into the Billboard 200 charts at number 1, sold 251,000 copies the first week, and by 2000 had gone 5x platinum.
He and his label followed up with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood that same year, on December 22nd. That too went #1 with a bullet and stayed there for three straight weeks.
Still, with all of those accomplishments, the Academy did not recognize him and Jigga (despite winning Best Rap Album for Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, was p##### and demonstrated it with his absence.
JAY-Z speaks on boycotting the Grammys in 1999 for snubbing DMX after he earned two #1 albums in the same year. pic.twitter.com/Lsfwk9LR1o
— Rap Alert (@rapalert3) May 29, 2021
He recalls on Lebron James’ talk show, “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” “By the way, the first time I boycotted the Grammys was for [DMX]. We both came out that year, he didn’t get nominated. He dropped two albums—had two No. 1 albums in the same year—they didn’t even nominate him. I won that year for Rap Album, so my first Grammy win I wasn’t there. I wasn’t even in the building, because I boycotted it for him. There was a competitive thing, but it was big love.”
DMX and Jay-Z were connected for years and even let others float the idea of them becoming a crew (along with Ja Rule) called Murder Inc. Jay-Z stated that DMX was super competitive against him.
In the episode, he talked about their first meeting being a rap battle. Though remembering him in respect, he contends that the X couldn’t rap better than him with a laugh. Ironically, their paths would cross again … this time as labelmates on Def Jam and touring together.
Jay-Z Detailing One Of DMX’s Shows pic.twitter.com/wuBzb5qzQK
— DJ First Class™ 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) May 29, 2021
“My fondest memory of DMX is: he improved my stage show,” Jay-Z shared. “The lights are off. He’s in the hallway. It goes dun-dun. Now, the arena’s shaking, and I’m like, this is cool. Dun-dun. Then he goes grrrrr, and the f#####’ arena goes crazy. It’s deafening, and I’m like, ‘Oh, s###.’”
Jay-Z continued, “He’s running back and forth… Halfway through the show, then he takes his shirt off… the dog chain is drippin’, and he’s going nuts, and I’m like, ‘S###.’ This is halfway through.”
“First the guys were going crazy, now the girls were going crazy. Then he gets to the end, and he starts a prayer. And now they’re crying. The whole arena is crying tears. And they’re like, ‘Hey… now you go.’”
Seems like they were real friends.
Perhaps it was that friendship that moved Jay-Z when he was the president of Def Jam to clear X’s $12 million debt with the label when he left.