So it’s that time of year again. It’s time for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to induct another class of artists into the esteemed halls of rock and roll Valhalla. As always, there are the notable rock icons that made the cut like Pearl Jam and Journey, but for the second year in a row the most talked about inductee isn’t from rock, but rap. Not just any rapper mind you, but the greatest rapper of all time (sit and spin if you don’t agree) in Mr. Tupac Amaru Shakur. And for the second year in a row there’s a lot of bitching about whether or not hip-hop belongs. For a long time I was adamantly all for it, but now I find myself tending to agree with that sentiment. It’s about time they created a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame, or at least do the unthinkable and change the name.
I for one do not want to see Drake one day standing next to the likes of Tupac and N.W.A in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There is a spirit of Rock, it’s a feel; I know it when I hear it, and he ain’t it.
This is not the first time the hall has inducted artists that are either from another genre or at best loosely affiliated with rock. However, there’s no denying that when you hear the name rock and roll, a certain sound, a certain image, pops into your head, and most likely it’s not N.W.A. While I do tend to agree with Ice Cube’s general sentiment that rock is a spirit that can embody a wide range of styles, the fact is that not all rap is created equal. I agree that a lot of rap from the late 80’s to mid 90’s (the golden era people) definitely embodied and developed from the same spirit that rock and roll does, but once you start getting into the more modern stuff, shit starts to get real murky. I for one do not want to see Drake one day standing next to the likes of Tupac and N.W.A in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There is a spirit of rock, it’s a feel and I know it when I hear it, and he ain’t it.
All grown up
Hip-hop is no longer rock’s scrappy little brother, it’s grown up and taken over the spot as the most dominant sound out there. There’s no need to continue to shoehorn it in with another genre, it’s more than big enough to stand on it’s own. While it is still a relatively young genre, it’s gone through so much rapid evolution that the sound today has largely deviated from that rebellious spirit that birthed it; spawning it’s own countercultures to it’s original counterculture. It’s developed it’s own spirit and feel that no longer needs the approval and acceptance of rock. It’s time to cut the cord.
…the sound today has largely deviated from that rebellious spirit that birthed it; spawning it’s own countercultures to it’s original counterculture.
The likes of The Beastie Boys, Run-D.M.C, N.W.A, Tupac, and the others undoubtedly earned their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and fully embody the spirit that built that house. But as I look towards the present and the future of hip-hop, it’s become clearer than ever that it’s time. Rock and roll and hip-hop will forever be linked together as the half-siblings birthed from the same original spirit, but it’s time that hip-hop got the hell out the house.
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