Why Jay-Z boycotted the 1999 Grammy Awards
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Why Jay-Z boycotted the 1999 Grammy Awards

Jay-Z is a highly decorated emcee and has won his fair share of Grammy Awards. In fact, the Brooklyn icon has accumulated 24 Grammys since he burst onto the mainstream in 1996. His 1998 album, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life was awarded ‘Best Rap Album’ award, and since then, he has continued to receive accolades for his music.

However, in 1999, the ‘Takeover’ musician (real name Shawn Carter) decided to boycott the award ceremony. In an interview with LeBron James and Maverick Carter on their podcast The Shop: Uninterrupted, Carter revealed that he chose not to attend the Grammys as one of the biggest acts of the era, DMX, hadn’t been nominated for one award.

During the sit-down conversation, Jay explained, “The first time I boycotted the Grammys was for him. We both came out that year. He didn’t get nominated. He dropped two albums, had two number-one 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 in, I wasn’t even in the building because I boycotted for him.”

The Black Album creator admitted that he respected the late emcee, stating, “There was a competitive thing, but there was big love. He was so competitive with me. I never met a human being more competitive than me, like ever.”

He continued, “Not even my big brother. Like, no one. We met battling. That’s how we met. We were in [the] Bronx, in a pool hall. After that battle, he went to a show, he got on stage, ‘Jay-Z, where you at!?’ I was like, ‘This guy is nuts.’ He was just all passion.”

Carter even unveiled that DMX’s electrifying concerts drove him to improve his own live performances skills, detailing, “First of all, it’s deafening, and I’m like, ‘Ohhh s*it,’” Jay-Z said. “He’s running back and forth. He has this thing, like an Alize and Hennessy mix. It looks like blood. Like, he’s drinking blood, right? … Halfway through the show, then he takes his shirt off. All the girls are screaming, ‘Aaaah.’ … The dog chain is dripping, and he’s going nuts!”

He concluded, And I’m like, ‘Sh*t!’ First the guys are going crazy, now the girls are going crazy. And then he gets to the end, and he starts a prayer. And now they’re crying. The whole arena is crying … They’re like, ‘Hey, now you go.’” You can watch Jay-Z’s interview on The Shop: Uninterrupted below.