Why are there rappers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

rappers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Like every year, the Rock N ‘Roll Hall of Fame re-announces its nominees to enter the famous museum that is considered one of the highest moments for a musician. A worthy recognition of his career and that will remain as a legacy to the world. Can you imagine what feeling you would have if you knew that your works will remain for future generations as a living legacy?

However, there is a detail that did not go unnoticed: the inclusion of rap. Stix Zadinia, drummer for the “parody” band Steel Panther, spoke clearly and directly on this issue in an interview, showing his displeasure.

“You talk about rock and roll, but you have hip-hop artists on that list, and you don’t have heavy metal artists… I mean, how do you not include Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? », It indicated.

It’s amazing. So, you have Pearl Jam in the Hall of Fame, but you don’t have Judas Priest, which started in the ’70s and still continues. That’s embarrassing. And I am not detracting from Pearl Jam, but I am referring to the fact that Priest and Maiden have done everything for the musical genre they are in and have been overlooked.”

This 2021, the artists nominated for the Rock Hall of Fame are:

  • Among the artists nominated this year are Carole King, Chaka Khan, Devo, Dionne Warwick, Fela Kuti (creator of afrobeat), Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Kate Bush, Mary J. Blige, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, the Go-Go’s, Tina Turner, Todd Rundgren, and the rappers LL Cool J and Jay-Z.

Hip-hop’s role in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Given the name, the confusion is understandable and one wonders why put rap in a museum clearly dedicated to rock? The answer is the following:

The organization has not officially declared on the inclusion of rappers, however, its website indicates that the only “formal criteria” for choosing the nominees is that the artists have at least 25 years of career after having released their first album.

In the website also you can read:

“One of the many functions of the Foundation is to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.”

Terry Stewart, president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and also a member of the Nominating Committee, explains the criteria in more detail in a letter to fans. There he points out that the contribution and impact of the artist in society is valued regardless of the genre he plays.

They also recognize that the selection is a totally subjective decision on the part of the members of the foundation’s jury, made up of historians and members of the music industry:

Nomination and induction to the Hall of Fame is not about popularity, record sales, what label the group is on or anything other than the process below. The love, appreciation and impact of any artist are subjective questions to which nominators and voters must respond.  Unlike baseball, soccer, basketball or hockey, statistics are not relevant, “he says.

«… The candidates are reviewed and discussed in relation to their impact on this music that we generally call rock and roll.  The innovation and influence of these artists is also essential. Gold records, hits, number one, and millions of sellers are really not appropriate standards for evaluation.

Quite apart from the aforementioned, it must be recognized that rap and rock are genres that go hand in hand very well. From rock samples to hip-hop, subgenres like hardcore punk or nu metal and countless collaborations.

Bands like Limp Bizkit, Rage Aginst The Machine, The Clash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More and many other groups attest that when both styles come together, they are a hit bomb. Have you not poked and singing “Numb”, “Nookie”, “Killing in the Name” “Give it Away” or “Walk This Way” ft Run DMC?

These are the rappers included so far in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

It is not the first time that rap has been inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Artists like The Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur or groups like Run-DMC, NWA and Public Enemy have already been included in previous editions.

There are more things that unite us than those that separate us. Rap and rock are two genres that go hand in hand and that many artists of both genres should be recognized for the great legacy they have left us.