How Jay Z's lyric became the go-to tagline during the Emmys acceptance speeches

  /  09.19.2016

Beyoncé may have lost during the Emmys last night, but her husband Jay Z stayed winning — without even being nominated.

It all started when Sterling K. Brown accepted his trophy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (as he played lawyer Christopher Darden in FX’s The People vs. O.J. Simpson).

During his speech, he made sure to give a shout-out to his wife and quoted Jay Z in the process. Referencing a lyric from the rapper’s hit “Public Service Announcement” Brown sweetly said: “Contrary to popular belief, I got the hottest chick in the game rockin’ my chain.”

Then, later in the evening, when Courtney B. Vance won for his award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (also for The People v. O. J. Simpson, but for his role as Johnnie Cochran), he cheekily followed Brown’s lead, playfully one-upping him with a shout-out to his own wife (of 20 years), the equally talented Angela Bassett: “To the woman that rocks my chain, Angela Evelyn Bassett, this one is for you, girl!”

(He also used the moment to make a swift political statement. Shouting before walking away: “Obama, out; Hillary, in!”)

And when comedian John Oliver accepted his trophy for Outstanding Variety Talk Series (as the host of the late-night talk and news satire show Last Week Tonight), he cheekily tried his hand at the quote but recognized its, uh, exclusivity: “On a personal level, I gotta thank my wife, the hottest chain–I don’t know either. Impeccably white moment on stage.”

Finally, when Steven Moffatt took the stage to accept the award for Outstanding Television Movie (for Sherlock: The Abominable Bride), he tried to keep the reference going, saying, “I want to thank my wife. Not only does she rock… whatever that was, but she produces the show.”

He added:

For old time’s sake…

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