The Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective honored Lil Wayne, Dr. Dre and Missy Elliott with the Global Impact Award (now called Dr. Dre’s Global Impact Award). Many celebrities and revered artists emerged to honor each of the artists. 2 Chainz, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Ciara, Swizz Beatz, Chloe, 2 Chainz, Kurupt and more appeared on stage where they celebrated the legacies of the three artists.
Drake wasn’t physically present but he recorded a short video expressing his gratitude and love for Lil Wayne. But first, he addressed the elephant in the room – his long-standing beef with the Grammys over the past seven years. Since 2016, the Canadian rapper basically embarked on a one-man boycott of the Grammys. Despite his record-breaking success, he refuses to submit anything to the award show. “Good evening, Grammys. Well, I haven’t gotten to say that since 2016,” Drake began, per the Hollywood Reporter.
“Lil Wayne…I love you so much,” he continued. “I know I probably get annoying with saying how much you mean to me and my family, but I think I speak on behalf of everybody when I say that our careers, our cadences, our melodies, maybe our face tats or our outfits or our decisions in general would not have been the same without your natural gift to just be yourself.”
During Lil Wayne’s speech, he reflected on the significance of his award coming from a place like New Orleans. From his humble beginnings in Louisiana, he became the biggest rapper in the world. “I want you all to know that I don’t get honored,” he said. “Where I’m from, New Orleans, you’re not supposed to do this.”
Though the award intended to celebrate Lil Wayne’s career, he reflected on how music impacted his home life. His stepfather passed away when he was a child and at 14, his mother asked him for a kid since he was touring. For the most part, he dedicated his speech to his mother and the mothers of his children.
“And her son had just blown up and went on his first tour. When I came home she said, ‘Son, I can’t live in this house by myself. We’re going to have to figure something out,’” he recalled. “I’d like to thank Antonia Johnson [Reginae Carter’s mother] for reasoning with me and my mom, and my life. I’d like to thank every single one of my kids and every single one of their mothers.”
Following Wayne’s speech, Tyga hit the stage for a performance of some of the Young Money boss’s biggest hits to date. However, Wayne will hit the stage this weekend for the Hip-Hop 50 segment at the Grammys.