Jay-Z Explains ‘History,’ New Song Performed At Neighborhood Ball

'The 'History' record is really about making history,' Jay explains of the song he performed at Barack Obama's inaugural ball.

A lot of rappers penned songs honoring President Barack Obama in the weeks leading up to Election Day. There was Will.I.Am’s “Yes, We Can” tribute , Nas’ “Black President” and Kidz in the Hall’s “Work to Do.”

[artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] took a different route, headlining rallies to encourage voter registration, speaking out against George W. Bush during his Heart of the City Tour, and writing an open letter in support of Obama.

But on election night, Hov joined the fray with his own Obama track, “History.” The song was rumored to be a number from his upcoming The Blueprint 3.

Neither Jay nor anyone from his camp has confirmed where the song will land, but he performed it live on ABC’s “Neighborhood Ball” Tuesday night (January 20).

“All I got is dreams nobody else can see/ Nobody else believes, nobody else but me/ Where are you victory, I need you desperately/ Not just for the moment to make history,” he raps in the song’s first verse.

Donning a tuxedo and his newly ubiquitous black-rimmed spectacles, he took to the stage. “Put the peace sign up! Y’all made history!” Jay said to the crowd.

On Monday night in D.C., Jay talked to us about the song.

“The ‘History’ record is really about — once again — about making history,” he explained. “But I use different words as if they were women: ‘Success. I met success and success was a sister of defeat.’

You know, if you listen to the record it’s pretty much talking about trying to find victory, victory being a woman, and so me and victory can make a kid — the kid being history, and then history tells your legacy. It’s deep but it’s fun. It’s not really that complicated.”

Watch “Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural” online now, and come back Thursday for the full performances from Kanye West, Kid Rock and Fall Out Boy. Stick with us for wall-to-wall coverage of the inauguration and of the scenes in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Kenya.