To celebrate the airing of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction this Saturday, 4/29, we’re running a series of essays and feature analyzing and highlighting the implications of who was inducted in 2017.
Imagine a place that houses DJ Kool Herc’s turntables, Rakim’s microphone, Flavor Flav’s clock, Tupac’s bandana, Biggie Small’s Versace shirt, Jay Z’s Yankee fitted and so many more iconic hip-hop artifacts. This place could honor the latest and greatest acts in the genre each year, as well as pay homage to those from past eras and serve as a monument meant to celebrate the little genre that could, that eventually became a worldwide phenomenon and pop chart mainstay. Imagine that instead of waiting for enshrinement into the Rock and Roll hall of fame, rappers, DJs, producers and everybody else contributing to the culture could be enshrined into the Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame.
It’s time to make this a reality.
With Tupac Shakur’s induction into the Rock Hall of Fame this year, he becomes just the sixth rapper to be recognized, and the first solo rap performer following Run-D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and N.W.A. — not that he needed their approval to be considered a rockstar. The Hall’s eligibility rules require 25 years since a performer’s debut album before they are eligible for enshrinement, and Pac’s induction is just the beginning of what should be a plentiful decade for rappers and the Hall. Biggie, Nas, Jay Z, DMX, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, the Wu-Tang Clan and many more made their debuts during the so-called Golden Era or hip-hop in the mid 1990s, and their eligibility should open the floodgates for hopeful inductees.
That flood of artists reaching eligibility signals the perfect time for a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame, and the still relatively new genre has been around long enough to fill its own physical hall that could serve as a museum for the genre. Born in the ’70s, hip-hop was thought to be a passing fad, even when it began to cross over in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Much like the performers within the genre, hip-hop persisted, and despite protests and political pressure it continued to increase its relevance world-wide.