No fewer than four Emmy winners quoted Jay-Z’s 2003 track “Public Service Announcement,” from The Black Album, in their acceptance speeches Sunday night, with one particular line about Mrs. Carter popping up repeatedly over the course of the ceremony.
Sterling K. Brown, accepting the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie for his performance in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, gave the shoutout to his wife: “I got the hottest chick in the game rocking my chain.”
Soon after Brown’s win, his co-star Courtney B. Vance was awarded the Outstanding Lead Actor statuette for his role in the same miniseries. Vance concluded his own speech by addressing his own wife, “To the woman who rocks my chain: Thank you, Angela Bassett. This one’s for you, girl.”
John Oliver — who was very excited to see Beyoncé at the show and then very disappointed when he didn’t — did not know what Brown and Vance were talking about, but did his best to join in. Accepting the award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, he said, “I want to thank my wife — the hottest chain, or whatever.”
Finally, when Oliver’s fellow Brit Steven Moffat took the stage to accept the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie, the Sherlock: The Abominable Bride co-creator and producer also registered his confusion about the line (and appreciation of his wife), saying, “I want to thank my wife. Not only does she rock, whatever that was, but she produces the show.”
Hey Oliver and Moffat — for future reference, the full lyric is: “Fresh out the fryin’ pan into the fire / I be the music biz number one supplier / Flyer than a piece of paper bearin’ my name / Got the hottest chick in the game wearin’ my chain.”