Rappers within the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: A Complete History

Since 1986, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been honoring artists within the rock, blues, soul and even nation music genres. Since 2007, the museum has been including hip-hop artists to their prestigious Hall of Fame inductions.

Currently, solely six hip-hop acts have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They are Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, N.W.A and Tupac Shakur.

In 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five grew to become the primary rappers to be inducted into the Hall. The museum couldn't have made a greater first alternative. The South Bronx group are the embodiment of hip-hop tradition. Two years later, Run-DMC, the trio introduced hip-hop to the suburbs due to their rap-rock model of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," was ushered in.

Then got here the Beastie Boys in 2012. The group began out as a punk act, then moved to rap, the place they included basic rock samples into their recordings to nice industrial success. Public Enemy, who joined the subsequent yr, was one other nice induction. They have all the time maintained a rock mentality of their music but in addition introduced a way of social activism to rap as effectively.

West Coast rap icons N.W.A proved to be the Hall's most controversial inductees. But their in-your-face rhymes and highly effective musicality definitely influenced rock and vice versa. Finally, 2Pac was posthumously inducted in 2017. In addition to being a gifted rapper, his work ethic  and legendary rap standing made him a worthy honoree.

In honor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Boombox determined to have a look again in any respect the rap HoF honorees. Check out movies of their acceptance speeches and thrilling performances beneath.

In 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious had been the primary rap act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The South Bronx group are the pioneers of early rap with their socially-conscious songs like “The Message” and the anti-cocaine monitor “White Lines." Meanwhile, Grandmaster Flash would change into a visionary behind the turntables together with his abilities at break-beating.

At the 2007 induction ceremony, Jay-Z — a particular future Hall candidate — ushered in Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and praised them for his or her innovation in rap music.

"Rock performed an enormous half in what we do," mentioned Grandmaster Flash throughout his acceptance speech. "It's been an unimaginable journey to do what I do on the turntables with 5 unimaginable vocalists – the Furious Five."

Melle Mel added, "To the entire trade those that have management of what we known as hip-hop, I would really like the individuals to place extra of an effort to make hip-hop the tradition of music that it was as a substitute of the tradition of violence that it’s proper now."

For their efficiency, the long-lasting rap group took audiences on a nostalgic journey of widespread breakbeats earlier than ending their efficiency with "The Message."


If there might be solely rap group that deserves to be within the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it could be Run-DMC. The legendary Queens group efficiently merged rock and rap along with their basic 1985 track “Walk This Way” (that includes Aerosmith), which sparked the sub-genre known as rap-rock. Not solely that, Run-DMC have had many firsts within the rap sport together with in enterprise with being the primary rap group to snag a sneaker endorsement deal.

At the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Eminem was tapped to usher Joseph "Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels and the late Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell into the HoF. The Detroit rhymer cited them as his musical heroes.

"Two turntables and a microphone, that's all it took to vary the world," he mentioned ( MTV News). "Three kings from Queens made rap music within the b-boy stance a world phenomenon."

"And 25 years later, man, right here we’re," he continued. "They didn't take no for a solution, a lot the identical means as they didn't surrender when a lot of the world refused to acknowledge rap as actual music. They had been the primary rock stars of rap. They had been the primary film stars of rap. They had been the primary rap group performed on MTV…they had been the baddest of the dangerous, the best of the cool. Two turntables and a microphone."


In April 2012, the Beastie Boys had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by fellow Def Jam artist LL Cool J. The rap veteran thanked the trio for bringing their ingenious model and wit to hip-hop and for locating a 16-year-old rap dynamo.

“The cause I’m right here tonight and the rationale this was so vital to me is as a result of if it wasn’t for the Beastie Boys [who] truly performed my demo tape for Rick Rubin within the NYU dormitory, I wouldn't have gotten my large break,” mentioned LL.

Beastie Boys Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz appeared on the ceremony sans Adam "MCA" Yauch who was battling most cancers on the time. Sadly, MCA would succumb to the illness a month later.

“I’d wish to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike,” he wrote in a letter Rolling Stone. “They walked the globe with me. It’s additionally for anybody who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as a lot ours as it’s yours.”

For their musical tribute, rappers Black Thought, Kid Rock and Travie, together with the Roots band and DJ Mixmaster Mike on the turntables, carried out an exhilarating melody of Beastie Boys tracks together with "No Sleep Til Brooklyn," "So What Cha Want" and "Sabotage."


Spike Lee and Harry Belafonte did the honors of ushering Public Enemy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The iconic rap group – Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and Terminator X – had been being saluted for his or her longevity in addition to for his or her activism in hip-hop.

“Mr. Belafonte had mentioned that activists are the gatekeepers of reality and civilization’s radical voice. We have coined our personal time period for what we do on this identical spirit – raptivism,” mentioned Chuck D throughout his acceptance speech. "This award is simply not ours, we come from DJ tradition. A tradition that values bringing the noise from numerous message from Minister Louis Farrakhan to Anthrax."

"Tonight what we’re being honored for is simply not the longevity however for ability at our craft and our tenure as a gaggle and people inside," he continued. "Rap music and hip-hop at his greatest does the suitable factor."

Afterward, they bum-rushed the stage and delivered a rousing efficiency of their anthemic bangers "Rebel Without Pause" and "Fight the Power."


N.W.A grew to become a hot-button subject on social media following their announcement that they’d be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Kiss bassist Gene Simmons was an outspoken critic of their induction, stating that teams like N.W.A and different rap artists had been "not rock 'n' roll sufficient" to be inducted. At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, N.W.A took Simmons to activity for his remarks.

"The query is, 'Are we rock 'n' roll?'" Ice Cube requested throughout his acceptance speech. "And I say — you goddamn proper we rock 'n' roll."

"Rock 'n' roll just isn’t an instrument. It's not even a mode of music," he continued. "It's a spirit that's been occurring because the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, rock 'n' roll, R&B, heavy metallic, punk rock, and sure, hip-hop."

Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar ushered the group into the Hall. Sadly, N.W.A didn't carry out on the occasion on account of technical difficulties past their management.


Another small controversy occurred when Tupac Shakur was chosen to be immortalized in 2017. Chuck D felt it was too quickly to honor the late rapper and advised that LL Cool J would have been a greater candidate. The Queens rapper was first nominated for induction again in 2010. LL appeared on the nomination poll once more in 2011 however didn't get chosen.

Nevertheless, 2Pac was posthumously inducted into the HoF. Fellow rapper and former Death Row artist Snoop Dogg mirrored fondly on his pal who he known as "his homeboy."

"To be human is to be many issues directly, sturdy and weak, hardheaded and mental, brave and afraid, revolutionary and…oh yeah, don’t get it fucked up, gangsta," he mentioned. "To me, Tupac was initially, the homeboy. We shared lots in widespread. In a means, our journeys began collectively."

"'Pac’s part of historical past for a cause, as a result of he made historical past," he added. "He’s hip-hop historical past, He’s American historical past."

For his musical tribute, Grammy Award-winning pianist Alicia Keys carried out a medley of twoPac's hits together with "I Ain't Mad at Cha" and "Dear Mama." Then Snoop, YG, Treach and T.I. got here out and rapped 'Pac's basic songs "Gangsta Party," "Hail Mary" and "Keep Ya Head Up," respectively.