Aug 18, 2023 - Music

A history of hip-hop in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eminem and LL Cool J perform on stage.

Slim Shady and LL rock out. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has joined the rest of the world in celebrating hip-hop's 50th anniversary this year.

Driving the news: The museum opened "Holla If Ya Hear Me," an exhibit honoring the genre's history, in June.

  • Genre pioneer Grandmaster Flash will perform at the museum Friday night.

Flashback: Honoring hip-hop is nothing new for the Rock Hall, which has inducted 10 hip-hop acts:

  • 2007: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
  • 2009: Run-DMC
  • 2012: Beastie Boys
  • 2013: Public Enemy
  • 2016: N.W.A.
  • 2017: Tupac Shakur
  • 2020: The Notorious B.I.G.
  • 2021: Jay-Z, LL Cool J
  • 2022: Eminem

What's next: Missy Elliott will become the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted during a ceremony on Nov. 3.

What they said: "Rock 'n' roll is not an instrument or a style of music," Ice Cube declared during N.W.A.'s induction in 2016.

  • "It's a spirit. It's been going since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, R&B, rock 'n' roll, heavy metal, punk rock and, yes, hip-hop."

The other side: The Rock Hall's celebration of hip-hop has its detractors, including inductee Gene Simmons of Kiss.

  • "They don't play guitar," he said in 2014. "They sample, and they talk — not even sing."

The bottom line: The Rock Hall has inducted at least one hip-hop artist each of the past four years.

  • The new exhibit suggests the trend will continue.

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