Why Hip-Hop Belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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I can pinpoint the moment I became a hip-hop fan. It was October 1994 and I was 10 years old. I was returning from a school field trip to the Bunker Hill Monument, and the boys kept yelling at the bus driver, “One, two, three — NINETY-FOUR POINT FIVE!”

Any Bostonian will immediately recognize that number as Jam’n 94.5 — Boston’s hip-hop station.

The bus driver ignored the boys’ shouts for music. But I didn’t. As soon as I came home, I brought a radio into my room, turned it to 94.5, and felt my world break open. This was my music.

Within weeks I had made my first mix tape, filled with Craig Mack, Shaggy, 2Pac, Naughty by Nature, and the Notorious B.I.G. Soon I was using purple nail polish to paint over the “parental advisory” stickers on my album covers so that my parents wouldn’t notice. I was dancing to Coolio and LL Cool J at middle school dances, and my God, who in their right mind thought “Doin’ It” was a good song to play for sixth-graders?

Looking back, I wonder if my family thought it was a phase. It wasn’t. 24 years later, it’s hip-hop that keeps me awake when driving halfway across Finland. When my friends get pregnant, I ask them if I can play hip-hop when the baby is born. And when I contemplate the pressures I face at the confluence of success, art, and fandom, I turn to the words of Kendrick Lamar.

So when I decided to visit Cleveland, my biggest priority was to explore how hip-hop was represented at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

What is Rock and Roll, Anyway?

A glass I.M. Pei-designed double pyramid on the shores of Lake Erie, the Hall is a celebration of subversion in music. Along with costumes and artifacts from artists across genres — David Bowie’s lightning bolt suit! Michael Jackson’s glove! Flavor Flav’s clock!! — you get a primer on history and influence of music across decades and borders.

Cleveland is an interesting choice for its location. While the city is often a punchline, the little city epitomizing Middle America, I found it to be full of surprises. Full of cultural treasures. Full of interesting people. And quite representative of America as a whole. After all, every four years the nation’s attention pivots to Cuyahoga county, its election turnout often a bellwether of a nation.

So if there were any place to put your finger on the pulse of America, Cleveland is pretty much as close as you can get.

My big concern at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was whether black artists were given the appropriate credit for the creation of rock and roll. And then I was greeted by one of Biggie’s track suits and a message:

“The more immediate roots of rock and roll lay in the so-called “race” music, or rhythm and blues, and “hillbilly” music, or country & western, of the Forties and Fifties. Other significant influences include blues, jazz, gospel, boogie-woogie, folk and bluegrass…

Over the past five decades, rock and roll has evolved in many directions. Numerous styles of music — from soul to hip-hop, from heavy metal to punk, from progressive rock to electronic — have fallen under the rock and roll umbrella.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes these different types of music and looks forward to seeing how rock and roll will continue to reinvent itself in the future.”

–Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Reading this message truly set a ton for what was to follow — a museum that honored artists in countless genres springing out of rock and roll.

And then there’s the Hall of Fame itself — the list of inductees, which began in 1986. Performers become eligible 25 years after their first single is released, and more than 900 historians, music industry members, and performers vote on the final nominees. In 2012 the Hall added a voting option, and the top five vote-getters from the public receive ballots as well. (Currently Stevie Nicks is in the lead for next year, and if inducted, she would be the first female double inductee.)

The first round of inductees included pioneers like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Fats Domino, as well as Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, and Buddy Holly. What I love about this list is that it’s so representative of black artists who are so often overlooked in the creation of rock and roll.

As I wandered the Hall, I smiled. I had nothing to worry about. The people who created this museum obviously take music very seriously and want to get it right. The people who complained about hip-hop artists being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are nothing but garden-variety internet trolls.

Well. Internet trolls can take various forms.

Hip Hop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first hip-hop artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was a fitting debut — Grandmaster Flash was among the absolute earliest pioneers of hip-hop in the late 1970s.

Since then, only a handful of hip-hop artists have joined them: Run-DMC in 2009. The Beastie Boys in 2012. Public Enemy in 2013. N.W.A. in 2016. Tupac Shakur in 2017.

And not everyone has been happy about it.

KISS’s Gene Simmons was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. That year he told Radio.com, “You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-D.M.C. in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me. That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing…If you don’t play guitar and you don’t write your own songs, you don’t belong there.”

This is the same guy who told Rolling Stone, “I am looking forward to the death of rap…Rap will die. Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy.”

When you think of internet trolls amplified, think of Gene Simmons. Across America and the world, people like him are repeating that hip-hop and rock are so different — yet if they had actually set foot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they would know that wasn’t the case. It’s like saying that baguettes should be excluded from the Museum of Bread, but croissants are totally cool.

Rock and roll was built on a foundation laid by black artists — rhythms that began in Africa and was brought in bondage to the United States. Music that was refined and changed, that branched off into jazz, blues, soul, gospel, and R&B by black artists, and bluegrass, folk, and country by white artists. Music that twisted and turned, found its way back, and grew into something else entirely. Music for which black artists were compensated pennies on the dollars white artists received.

Plenty of people believe rock music started with the Beatles don’t realize that the Beatles’ biggest influence and collaborator was Little Richard. The Beatles sound like the Beatles only because of Little Richard. Think about that.

Yet so many of the white artists who learned from, were influenced by, and appropriated from black artists took all of the money, all of the credit, and all of the success, without giving credit or recognition.

Gene Simmons is the epitome of cultural appropriation in music. He and his bandmates built their success on the influence and inventions of black artists, then he turns to black artists doing the same exact thing as him and says, “You’re doing it wrong and you don’t deserve to be considered rock and roll.”

This exists in subtle ways as well. Compare Usher to Justin Timberlake. Similar age, similar breakout time, similar number of hits, similar blend of R&B and pop, both very talented in singing and dancing. Yet Usher, who was at his critical and commercial peak in 2004 with “Yeah!” and Confessions, never commanded anywhere near the radio play, ticket sales, collaborations, or endorsements of Justin Timberlake.

(Also, would a black artist be given chance after chance to become a leading actor after bombing so embarrassingly and continuously in half a dozen films? “Yeah, but Justin Timberlake’s great on SNL,” you say. Sure — and so is Drake. And Chance the Rapper is better than them both. But I digress.)

Basically, what I’m saying is I want Usher to be able to phone in a mediocre album à la The 20/20 Experience at the last minute and be given the longest performance slot at the Grammy Awards anyway.

Cultural appropriation in music can be hard to understand when so many artists are influenced by each other. It’s more than influence. This is a great resource to understand how it works.

Hip-hop is political, creative, protest music that breaks the rules — and if that’s not the essence of rock and roll, I don’t know what is.

Hip-hop is born out of the struggles of black people — for justice, for equality, for recognition, for money, for love. From Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” to 2Pac’s “Changes” to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” the best political protest songs of the last 25 years have been in hip-hop. Chuck D once likened hip-hop to “CNN for black people.”

The average rap song is far more political and socially conscious than a song in any other genre today.

And yet hip-hop is constantly mischaracterized as being “inappropriate” music.

I can give you an example from just a few days ago. In a group chat with my friends, I mentioned that I was rapping Kendrick Lamar’s “Mortal Man” to our friend’s three-month-old baby. (What can I say? That kid loves staring at the ceiling fan and I couldn’t resist bouncing him and singing, When the shit hits the fan, is you still a fan?)

“That’s not appropriate,” one friend said. “You shouldn’t say words like shit to him. I’d rather play my kids Backstreet Boys.”

I responded with three words. “Am I sexual?

Nearly all pop music is far too mature for children — it just depends on whether it’s overt, subtle, or euphemistic. Just ask my friends who are resorting to playing children’s music, and tearing their hair out at its singsongy repetitions.

(For the record, the baby’s mom is cool with profanity for now. “He’s learning how people make noises. But when he gets older, we’ll cut out the profanity.”)

At the same time, it absolutely infuriates me that an album like To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar — a dense, dizzying intellectual ride and journey through the history of black music alongside black oppression from its beginnings until today, filled with shock and humor, easily the best, smartest, and most important album of the 21st century — can lose the Grammy for Album of the Year to Taylor Fucking Swift.

Because, you know, rap is inappropriate.

Fuck that. That album is smarter than anything else you’ve ever heard.

“Whether hip-hop primarily reflects the culture from which some of it arises — the violence, the despair, the sexism — or gives vent to the frustrations of that culture, remains a question. What is clear is that its main concerns, from simple human relationships to the burning social questions of the day, echo those of early rock and roll.

Hip-hop just pumped up the volume.”

–Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

White artists are allowed to sing about sex, drugs, and crime — yet it’s only hip-hop that gets consistently tainted as being the inappropriate music about drugs and violence and sex. Literally everything is about sex. Everything.

Even when Hamilton came out, the biggest musical of the century so far, I can’t tell you how many people said to me, “Is’t that rap? I don’t like that, I don’t think it’s appropriate.” Come the fuck on.

My hope is that more music fans recognize their prejudices against hip-hop and try, in good faith, to listen to the messages, understand where it’s coming from, and eventually be a fan. I mean, we live in the age of streaming. You can do it for free.

“Now, the question is, are we rock & roll? And I say, you goddamn right we rock & roll. Rock & roll is not an instrument, rock & roll is not even a style of music.

Rock & roll is a spirit. It’s a spirit. It’s been going since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, R&B, rock & roll, heavy metal, punk rock and yes, hip-hop. And what connects us all is that spirit. That’s what connects us all, that spirit.

Rock & roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and in life. That is rock & roll, and that is us.”

–Ice Cube, at N.W.A.’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2016

Yes. Tupac deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as much as Pearl Jam.

Run-DMC deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as much as Metallica.

And N.W.A. deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as much as Deep Purple.

What’s next for hip-hop?

Next year, artists who released their first commercial recording in 1993 are eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

That means we might be seeing Outkast on that stage — and I certainly hope we will. Outkast were the first Southern rappers to break through the East-West rivalry and they’re a big part the reason that Atlanta became the hip-hop center of the universe. So many of their songs, from “B.O.B.” to “Ms. Jackson,” defied genre while staying politically conscious — not to mention creating “Hey Ya,” the biggest hit of the early 2000s, and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, one of only two albums ever to win Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

There are plenty more who are eligible as well. A Tribe Called Quest. Wu-Tang Clan. LL Cool J. Snoop Dogg. My top pick? Dr. Dre. While he was inducted as part of N.W.A., he deserves to be recognized on his own, and I fully expect him to be the first hip-hop double inductee.

So perhaps we will see new hip-hop inductees next year. Perhaps we won’t. But if not, well, you better get ready — artists like Jay-Z and Eminem are about to become eligible in the next few years.

“Rock and roll was never written for, or performed for, conservative tastes.”

–Frank Zappa

I come home from Cleveland and stop by my mailbox. Inside are cable bills who ignore my request to go paperless, an Athleta catalogue I didn’t ask for, a check for $69 from the one affiliate company who refuses to join the 21st century — and the latest issue of Vanity Fair. Vanity Fair, arguably the whitest magazine around, with a you-forgot-the-people-of-color scandal nearly every year. I often roll my eyes at the magazine, but it’s some of the best intellectual writing around, and so I subscribe.

On this issue of Vanity Fair, there’s a face I don’t expect to see. A face that brings a smile to mine. And a headline. The Gospel According to Kendrick.

Kendrick, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

On the cover of Vanity Fair. Only his first name. Not even a “this is a rapper” blurb.

He’s not the first solo rapper to appear on the cover, not the first to be shot by Annie Leibovitz. But this feels…different. He’s not Jay-Z in his tuxedo jacket, talking about his businesses — he’s here as a thought leader, a poet, the intellectual voice of a generation.

I won’t be so audacious as to assume this means things are changing, that black artists will receive the money and credit they deserve, that white artists will eschew appropriation. But there’s something about seeing Kendrick Lamar on the cover, staring straight ahead with clear eyes, that suggests we might be heading in the right direction.

I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a guest of Destination Cleveland, who hosted me in full during my stay in the city. All opinions, as always, are my own.

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30 thoughts on “Why Hip-Hop Belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”

  1. I appreciate this piece so much. And I’ll say this — I’ve never been a big hiphop fan. Not because of the lyrics, but just the overall sound, with definite and notable exceptions, didn’t often appeal to me. I always preferred the sound of “classic” rock or R&B. [My kid listens to a lot of Van Morrison and Bill Withers.) But tastes can change as we mature, and even just knowing there’s a deeper message to be heard, something I never bothered to listen for before, makes it worth revisiting for me. The only addition this piece needs is a link to your “Hip Hop for beginners” spotify list. 😉

  2. I’ve never been the biggest hip-hop fan, but as someone who loves rock and roll, the two genres have intersected. And those moments where the two genres meet have only served to bring hip-hop to wider audience.The swagger, passion and fury that began with rock and roll is felt in hip-hop. The Frank Zappa quote in the article is on the money, I would add that music was never meant to be written or performed for conservative tastes.

  3. As others have said, hip-hop has never been my preferred genre – but then again I can say the same of country music. But, having said that, I still have mad respect for the artists in both those genres that paved the way, and I agree that hip-hop 100% deserves its spot in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame! They had an exhibit there a couple years ago all about the intersection of music and politics, which I thought was really well-done – and of course hip-hop was highlighted.

  4. Don’t forget De La!

    Fantastic post, absolutely love this.

    I was always a rock kid growing up, punk and metal phases throughout. Hip hop always had it’s place but I didn’t really get into it until my late-twenties. I’m all over the board these days but these barriers and labels are ridiculous. Art is art, in the mainstream world it’s too easy to look past that simple fact. I can think of a ton of hip-hop artists that deserve more credit than most of the “rock” music out these days.

    It’s just so hard these days to sift through the trash and find the quality. Kendrick Lamar and Donald Glover though, holy sweet baby jesus. The future isn’t looking so bleak.

    Anyway. Cheers to this post,

  5. Very cool and well researched article, Kate. It’s not a genre I’m very familiar with, but even I know the massive impact that hip hop has had on American musical history. This is a great dive into that.

  6. Thanks for writing this post Kate. That comment by Gene Simmons I found kind of odd, cause (no offence to the KISS Army), but I wouldn’t consider Kiss’s music the epitome of original and groundbreaking music. I mean they got some catchy songs, but it’s very commercialized (not saying that’s good or bad, but it is what it is). I think it’s always important for us to confront our biases and to sometimes ask ourselves these hard questions (especially if your race/culture/sexual orientation/gender has been at an advantage throughout society). Like you mentioned Hamilton and before I saw it in London a few months ago (I avoided listening to the songs so it would all be new to me) I thought, “well how will a rap/hip hop musical work?” And if I really dig deep I was actually wondering will it be good (even though it’s won all the awards and everyone seems to love it). The people who don’t want Hip Hop artists in the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame need to ask themselves why that is. Because the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame actually has several inductees who I’d say can’t be defined into some narrow box of this is rock music, and I believe that’s a great thing.

  7. It’s interesting, I can see a case being made for everything from spirituals down to modern music. It’s all MUSIC. However, hip hop is not rock and roll. Should we just get rid of music genre labels? I’m sure there would be upset fans everywhere who weld their very identity to those specific genres.
    The idea that there is an award or hall of fame for art is ludicrous to me. If I’d wanted an award I would have run track instead.
    Also, trying to convince someone of the merits of music seems to be besides the point. It either appeals to you or it doesn’t and no amount of little gold statues is going to change that.

  8. I agree with a lot of the points you’ve made but what I think it boils down to is that we’re talking about the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame here. You can say that anyone who embodies the Rock lifestyle and makes music, regardless of its actual genre, should be allowed in. But if you look at any these Hall of Fame, it never the case. In the Baseball Hall of Fame you can find athletes who are the epitome of sportsmanship, success, the drive to win, and anything else that applies to being a world class athlete. You can find those same characteristics at the Football Hall of Fame or the Hockey Hall of Fame. All the athletes are striving for a similar goal with the same inspiration but they play a different sport.
    So should other artists who “embodie Rock” but don’t actually play rock should be allowed? No. There’s no Soccer players in The Basketball Hall of Fame for the same reason. It doesn’t make any sense

    1. I could not agree with you more. But, it’s probably a way to draw more people to visit the HOF. The very fact that each type of music has it’s own name – Hip Hop vs. Rock’n’Roll says it all. It’s just plain dumb.

  9. Hi Kate, this is a great post. I would also like to add that the “about me” in your sidebar defines me. I am 26, and almost on the verge of quitting my business to become a full-time traveler. Another thing which is relatable from your “about me” is that I am writing this comment from Thailand, which means I am also traveling South East Asia like you did back then. I am happy to see that you have finally achieved what you wanted.

  10. YES. This is how I feel anytime people tell me why they wouldn’t visit Mississippi. I think it’s the most culturally important place in the country because of this important music legacy that has touched LITERALLY every American music genre. You may have convinced me to go to Cleveland.

  11. I agree with Brett. Should the influencers and history of rock and roll be acknowledged in the hall of fame? Absolutely. Give them credit. But that doesn’t make modern hip hop into rock and roll. I doubt Tupac would have claimed he was a rock artist. There should really just be a hip hop hall of fame or one overarching music hall of fame.

    And I get your argument, but it’s sort of like saying that whoever invented the wheel deserves credit for a Tesla. Rock has evolved a lot over the last 50 years and this just seems overly political.

  12. This is a fantastic article although not what I expected from you at all! I have to admit I’m not a fan of much hip hop, although I do agree with a lot of what you’ve said here, and I also agree that everything we listen to derives from rock and roll, especially because at its core it’s a lifestyle rather than a genre. It’s kind of weird seeing those you listed as pioneers as being “overlooked” because to me (a huge fan of music) it feels obvious that they were the pioneers. It’s part of what I love about it – it feels like a world away from all the racism, because through music, black people were actually bringing people together, and historically (perhaps naively on my part) everyone seems to respect that. You complain that Kendrick Lamar lost an award to Taylor Swift, but look at people like Beyonce and Kanye West. They’re killing it (although I HATE Kanye but that’s neither here nor there, lol). I think the music industry is so huge that it’s hard to compare it – while a lot of hip hop is extremely political, so is a lot of rock music. There are good artists everywhere, for different reasons. So while I agree with the sentiment of your post, I think there are a lot of bold claims here about what’s better.

    1. Thanks so much, Clazz! I really appreciate your comment.

      It’s interesting that you mention Beyonce and Kanye West, because in addition to Kendrick Lamar, they make up the three black artists in the last decade that have lost Album of the Year to an inferior album by a white artist. Beyonce should have won for Lemonade; she lost to Adele’s 25. Kanye West should have won for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, by far the best work he’s ever done, but it wasn’t even nominated for Album of the Year (Adele won that year, too).

  13. Hip Hop Artists that should and will be inducted (within 10 years) because we’re the most dominant genre in Music.
    – Jay Z
    – Eminem
    – Kanye West
    – Lil Wayne
    – BIG
    – Outkast
    – Rakim and Eric B
    – Tribe Called Quest
    – Wu Tang Clan
    – There are others but this list should have no trouble getting into the hall of fame by 2029

  14. Hip hop is NOT rock n roll. It has it place in music but IT’S THE ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME. If you are going to admit other forms of music. It should be called THE MUSIC HALL OF FAME. And take out the Rock n Roll. I love music and have been to over 1000 concerts. All forms of music. I just think it should be Rock N Roll.

  15. The only reason why hip-hop and rap is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is because it’s popular right now, that’s it. Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Jimmy Hendrix are a completely different genre then NWA and Outkast. Sorry but it’s the truth just because they are all poc artists doesn’t mean that they are all in the same music genre. It’s okay to have different genres, in fact it’s great it makes it easier for the consumer to find what they are looking for. If I go to a record store artists are put in genres: jazz, blues, pop, hip-hop, country, and rock. If I’m looking for something particular I know where to go and I don’t have to sift through stuff to find what I want. Sorry I know that you adore hip-hop but it’s apples and oranges.

      1. I read your way too long bias we are the world bs article !!!!!! No one race of person started rock ‘n’ roll. It was a black and white alloy of Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, Ike Turner, Hank Williams, Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly – and Elvis Presley. Presley himself never claimed to have invented rock ‘n’ roll !!!!!! They played instruments, wrote songs and some even danced !!!!!!!!! Rap,Hip Hop,Country,Classical,Latin etc Are not Rock n Roll !!!!!! This is why they have they own award shows ! Did you ever go to a concert with a bunch of rap artists that was called a rock jam? Hell no! Tupac never called his music Rock and would of beat your ass if you did !No Hip Hop artist calls their music Rock n Roll .Except maybe unless they want an award !!!!!!You told someone else how they showed the world how they looked ! WHEN YOU ARE THE ONE THAT RAMBLED FOREVER AND LOOKED LIKE AN IDIOT !!!!!!!! WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ANYONE TO ACKNOWLEDGE ANYTHING ! LMFAO

          1. If there’s ever a “Rap Hall Of Fame” do you think Led Zeppelin will be inducted? Black Sabbath? Metallica?

            It makes about as much sense as Tupac being in the R&RHOF.

          2. The hall is thought of the roots of the r&b since the 50s not of rock as a genre, and that’s why there are james brown, stevie wonder, marvin gaye, the green, etc.

        1. These mistaken friend, the black artists invented rock and roll and you know them, then the whites imitated him, you did not hear that they made covers of r&b songs besides you name people like little richards, lloyd price, then for your criteria they should not enter soul artists like ray charles aretha franklin, r&b funk artists like james brown are you serious? and the incredible thing that hiop hop resembles more to funk and the origins of rock and roll for its lyrics and rhythm than heavy metal that is more influenced by classical music, is that way

  16. I read this post and well I can say this I already knew before, I mean it’s very long to tell but summarizing is a cultural problem for many years on the division of rock and roll, first of all r&b artists in the late forties with various infledances they invented rock and roll, it was the r&b was the first style of rock, then the white country singers appeared and began to imitate them and there was born the rock and roll era, then the r&b artists created the soul, it is more the press of the time called the music motown the new sound of rock, and they were already the great pioneers of rock and roll, little richard, chuck berry, fats domino, ray charles, james brown, sam cooke, ruth brown, groups of doo woop, etc, they were born other forms of r&b, funk, soul, etc, then the invasion british and began to split between rock and r&b (the first rock and roll) that’s another story, good reading comments surprises me like some american you do not know anything about the history of the music they invented, because it is ridiculous to call the music hall of fame, perhaps this frank sinatra, barbra streisand, folk artists like kingston trio, or jazz in general, the artists who enter they are related in rock, r&b and all its subgenres and derivations, etc, since rock and roll began to be massive in the 50s, the former as the first influence, and pop music was always like a soft version and evolved thanks to the artists of rock and r&b in the beatles, beach boys, supremes, bowie, etc, invented almost all the modern pop, now the hip hop when it began had influence of the r&b, funk, and even of the rock, for that reason that the artists they went by different ways and created different genres nothing more, and that this is better than the other is the own musical taste imposed by the press, greetings and kendrick lamar is a great

  17. Well, the rock and roll hall of fame has never been strictly about “rock” music, as evidenced by the many classic soul and funk artists who have been inducted, so by the perimeters that have already been set, then hip hop deserves a place in it. I would argue that inductees like Madonna and Depeche Mode are not “rock” music either, so it’s really more of a “popular music hall of fame” than anything else.

    However, I do see the point of the people arguing for why hip hop shouldn’t be in, and I don’t think they are necessarily trying to insult or belittle the genre when making these comments. The author makes the assumption that anyone who opposes hip hop being in the rock and roll hall of fame must detest hip hop, but that’s a bit of a stretch as there’s little to no evidence to suggest that. It is possible to both love hip hop and also feel it shouldn’t be in a rock and roll hall of fame.

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