When Jay-Z, The-Dream and Frank Ocean hit the Grammy stage Sunday night to accept Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the Throne’s “No Church in the Wild,” The-Dream and Ocean made sure to get in their thank-yous for family, friends and colleagues. Jay-Z, on the other hand, had a different plan.
“I’d like to thank the swap meet for his hat,” Jay said, poking fun at Dream’s “parental advisory” beanie topped off with a Boyz N the Hood cap.
The line got a laugh from the crowd at the Staples Center, but was The-Dream laughing too?
“Me and that guy, we was already goofing off the whole night,” the singer/songwriter said when MTV News caught up with him backstage after his win. “Jay’s a funny guy, people don’t know that. Of course they’re looking in from national TV and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe he did that!’ And I’m like, ‘No, I can believe he did that.’ What you may not believe is that I have my own digs that I do all the time, so it’s all good.”
The-Dream said he especially wasn’t taking it personally since someone very close to Jay had given him props about that very same hat. “Actually, Beyoncé asked me where I got these from and said they were so dope she wanted me to get her both of them,” he said. “So I don’t know what that means. [Jay-Z is] kind of like digging at both of us. I guess we’re country. This a country thing.”
So has The-Dream found a new side hustle? “I’m trying to sell something other than music,” he said with a smile. “I’m trying to get it on. I’mma have these hats down on the corner for $3.99 — come get you one!”
In all seriousness, The-Dream was genuinely touched by the Grammy win — but he still had another joke in him.
“I wear many hats,” he quipped about his skill set as a singer, songwriter and producer. “It’s still a great feeling to know where I come from and know that my mother isn’t here or my grandfather, the two people that influenced me the most. To be here, to still be doing it at this level and not seeing that curve that usually happens to individuals. And I’m just happy to be part of this process of ‘No Church in the Wild’ and even the whole process of [Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne], going back and forth, listening.
“There’s a lot of things that happen that doesn’t always have your name on it,” he added. “But you listen and you vibe out and you go to clubs and you do your thing and you listen and you make sure that it’s right, and I wanted to make sure my bigger part of this, as I told Jay and Kanye, even when they were making the album, I told ‘em, ‘You guys are two rap gods. It has to be right.’ And it came out right. And I’m just happy to be part of that process in any type of way, win or lose.”