Ahead of the 60th Annual Grammys Awards in which he leads all musicians with eight nominations, rapper Jay-Z is making headlines unrelated to the event. In an interview with Van Jones on CNN, the mogul and superstar had harsh words for President Donald Trump, which provoked a response on Twitter from the commander-in-chief.
The hip-hop legend described President Trump’s recent coarse comments about Haiti and various African countries as “hurtful”. Jay-Z went on to suggest that Trump’s comments were bigoted and likely to cause racism to spread in the United States.
Reacting to the Jay-Z interview, the president said via Twitter, “Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!”
Given that the man originally known as Shawn Carter is nominated in nearly every major category and is likely to win at least a few awards, he might have a chance on a big stage to continue a back-and-forth with President Trump. The event is, of course, broadcast live on national television.
Historically, awards shows have often provided a significant platform for celebrities to use to protest or to promote their political beliefs. This year’s Grammys Awards show is expected to have its share of such moments given that other recent events have featured various actions taken by participants to raise awareness about sexual harassment as well as gender and racial inequality.
Jay-Z and his superstar wife Beyonce Knowles have each been embroiled in politics at various moments throughout their illustrious careers. Both performers had extremely positive relationship with President Barack Obama. However, there has been varying degrees of hostility between the power couple and the current president and his supporters.
While neither Jay-Z nor Beyonce are scheduled to perform at the ceremony, they will almost certainly get an enormous amount of attention during the red carpet festivities, throughout the actual show, and then at the after-parties. While many of the headlines will be related to their fashion choices and the number of trophies Jay-Z takes home, there might be other highlights that are very political in nature due to the rapper’s present conflict with the president.