Rolling Out

Stephen A. Smith tells of call he got from Jay-Z about Beyoncé and Rihanna

The outspoken media personality says he got a call from Jay-Z after he once shared thoughts on Bey and Rih
Stephen A. Smith doing a live ESPN segment at Wells Fargo Center (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service)
Stephen A. Smith doing a live ESPN segment at Wells Fargo Center (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)

Outspoken media personality Stephen A. Smith is renowned for his boisterous persona and matter-of-fact-tone when talking about culture and sports and it’s rare we hear of him being humbled but apparently it has happened.

While appearing on the “Connect The Dots” podcast, Smith revealed that Jay-Z once put in a call to him after he made comments during an appearance on Sherri Shepherd’s daytime show that Rihanna “ain’t no Beyoncé” while discussing Rih’s then-upcoming Super Bowl halftime performance in January 2023.

“I don’t want to say I’m not excited, she’s fantastic, that’s not where I’m going with this,” Smith said of Rihanna’s performance at the time. “Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things, she’s spectacular actually — and congratulations on the new mamahood — there’s one thing she’s not, she ain’t Beyoncé.”

Smith was met with a mixed reaction and even some boos from the audience at the time but stood unmoved. The 56-year-old commentator said it was a bit different, however, when the Roc Nation boss reached out to him.

“A month later, Hov and I were on the phone,” Smith said. “Hov was like, ‘My dawg, you family, that’s family. That’s too close to say that.’ I said, ‘I didn’t know.’ He said, ‘I know.’ Done.”

“In other words, it’s a business, it’s a part of it, you don’t know how she’ll receive it, etc. etc. etc. That’s all he had to say. I appreciated that,” the “NBA Countdown” host related.

We, of course, know that Rihanna’s 2023 performance turned out to be a big hit culminating with the surprise reveal of her second pregnancy.

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out