JAY-Z has always been one to play chess, not checkers. In true Hov form, this weekend's arrival of his latest interview with CNN's Van Jones is right on time.
During his sit-down with the reputed political commentator and author, which aired Saturday evening (Jan. 27), the music mogul shared his unapologetic opinions regarding Donald Trump's recent "shithole countries" remark, among a variety of other topics, in turn garnering a response (via Twitter) from the president himself.
As music fans across the country are gearing up to tune into the 60th Annual Grammy Awards later this evening, one thing is crystal clear: If JAY-Z wins one (or more) of his eight nominations, he is poised to have one of the most impactful, important and overall epic acceptance speeches in Grammy history.
During his conversation with Van Jones, JAY-Z spoke eloquently about racism, the problems he has with contemporary politics and his ideas for a better future. His commentary regarding Trump's claims that unemployment for African-Americans has dropped during his presidency was quick to become the response that has since got the nation talking.
When asked by Jones if it's permissible for Trump to "say terrible things but put money in our pockets," JAY-Z said no, explaining that "it's not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn't equate to happiness. It doesn't. That's missing the whole point."
"You treat people like human beings. That's the main point," he continued. "It goes back to the whole thing -- 'Treat me really bad and pay me well.' It's not going to lead to happiness, it's going to lead to, again, the same thing. Everyone's going to be sick."
When Trump got wind of the interview, he took to Twitter, writing, "Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!"
Jones handled the clapback for JAY-Z, who rarely uses Twitter, responding, "Someone needs to inform @realdonaldtrump that I ALREADY asked Jay Z whether black employment figures redeem Trump's presidency. And Jay's answer last night on the#VanJonesShow was POWERFUL !!!"
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
Someone needs to inform @realdonaldtrump that I ALREADY asked Jay Z whether black employment figures redeem Trump’s presidency. And Jay’s answer last night on the #VanJonesShow was POWERFUL !!! ... Watch the VIDEO for yourself: https://t.co/7Sv3rHKkmW https://t.co/jbHpkKOM5o— Van Jones (@VanJones68) January 28, 2018
With JAY-Z expressing his opinion that "politics has become about the votes and not about the people," many are eager to see how the conversation continues tonight at the Grammy Awards. If this powerful discussion with Van Jones is any indicator, Hov isn't about to stop using his platform and resources to help give black and brown communities a voice, but also to help work towards tangible betterment for all.
JAY-Z is nominated for eight awards total, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Record of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Music Video and Best Rap Performance, with the odds in his favor to get some solid time behind the podium tonight and make history. We're placing our bets on the possibility that when it's all said and done, the hashtag #JAYZ2020 will be one of many to begin trending tonight.
Take a look at the footage where JAY-Z can be heard discussing Trump with Van Jones, above.