It’s that time of year again when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts the living legends of music to be included with a bastion of famous musicians in Cleveland. The requirements to be inducted are as follows:
Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.
The Foundation’s nominating committee selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes – and more than 50 percent of the vote – are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year.
Everyone has their own opinion about who should get in, and who shouldn’t be in. Hell, there are lengthy discussions on why one band is in and why another band has been snubbed once again. In the past few years, we have seen some Hip Hop acts get inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. These artists include the first inductee, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, followed by The Beastie Boys and Run DMC thereafter. There is an argument that these genres of bands should not be able to be in this special place. We think that opinion (while we respect it), is off base. One could argue that Grandmaster Flash, a founder of Hip Hop, was influenced by different genres of music (including Rock as a DJ), and with the Furious Five broke through cultural and musical barriers while he forged the way for others to create
“ I did love and always thank them [The Beastie Boys] for doing a hard work of paving those roads for musicians all over the world, and to rock, rap and roll on those roads, especially before people took us seriously as artists. Rap music is here to stay because it pays homage.”-Chuck D on inducting the Beastie Boys 2012
the music and life we call Hip Hop. Run DMC, the Queens Hip Hop legends who were sampling and using Rock in their early records (see “Rock Box”) long before they paired up with Aerosmith and delivered their version of “Walk This Way”. Lastly, no one can deny the influence the Beastie Boys had on sampling, culture in general, and the music itself. These three inductees very much deserve to be in the Hall alongside Bob Dylan, Genesis, and The Rolling Stones among others. As Rap music has grown into one of the most popular forms of music and Hip Hop culture is the most prominent and influencing aspects in modern culture, the founders of the genre and Golden Age Hip Hop performers are approaching the 25 year rule to become an inductee.
This year, pioneering and legendary Hip Hop performers Public Enemy and NWA are on the ballot to get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Both crews have not just been controversial in their music careers, but influential as well. While both PE and NWA have seen their share of attention drawn to them, it is undeniable that these monumental Golden Age artist broke musical grounds with records such as It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Straight Outta Compton. Hailing from different coasts, but with distinct messages to spread, it’s about time that more Hip Hop performers I grew up with were nominated as inductees. Rock and Roll could definitely never Hip Hop like this, and as the future of music grows, we will see more Hip Hop performers than ever getting nominated. To say that both of these artists were influences to me as a teen were an understatement. I know I am not the only person who grew up on Hip Hop that feels this way, and while we aren’t sure either one will get in (my bet is on PE first), this is a giant step for the revolution that is Hip Hop. You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge with these nominations, so pay attention.
NWA – Express Yourself
Public Enemy – Black Steel In the Hour of Chaos