Jay-Z Says He Boycotted Grammys for DMX: ‘It Was Big Love’

Jay-Z on HBO's 'The Shop: Uninterrupted.' Credit: HBO

Jay-Z shared memories about DMX on HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted and revealed why he stood in solidarity with the “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” rapper by boycotting the Grammy Awards in 1999.

On the fourth season premiere of the series on Friday, “Hov” talked about his admiration for the late artist.

“The first time I boycotted the Grammys was for [DMX]. We both came out that year, he didn’t get nominated,” Jay-Z told The Shop hosts LeBron James and Maverick Carter. “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.”

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Jay-Z won that year for “Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life,” which was released in September 1998.

He then talked about rap battling DMX and said the two first met at a Bronx pool hall where the entire crowd got hyped up for the “Where the Hood At?” artist.

“My fondest memory of DMX is he improved my stage show. 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—-n’ arena goes crazy. It’s deafening, and I’m like, ‘Oh, sh–.’”

Along with Jay-Z, other artists who joined the HBO show on the season premiere included rapper Bad Bunny, WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike, and SpringHill CMO (and The Shop co-creator) Paul Rivera.

Celebrities and special guests are invited to come on each episode, sit at the barbershop-themed set and talk sports, culture, music and their lives. The series premiered in 2018, and past episodes have featured Drake, Snoop Dogg, Will Smith, Odell Beckham Jr., and Lil Nas X.

The Shop is produced by HBO Sports and LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s digital media company, Uninterrupted.

Watch the official trailer for the season 4 premiere below: