Hip-Hop Enters the Rock Hall

In future decades, the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class will most be remembered as the year the first rappers were inducted. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five were finally selected for induction this week, after having been nominated each of the last three years.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame certainly understands the significance of this event. Terry Stewart, Rock Hall Museum President & CEO, responded to the objections of allowing rappers in:

"We've been getting the same question since the group originally was nominated a few years ago: 'Why in the heck would you have a hip-hop artist here?' " said Stewart, who is a member of the hall's nominating committee.

"You have to step back and understand the history of the music," Stewart said. "The term 'rock 'n' roll' has been around for more than 100 years. . . . Hip-hop is just another form of it, one we're very proud to recognize.

"Hip-hop is a derivative 50 years later of what Alan Freed was playing, which was called race music or rhythm and blues, then retitled rock 'n' roll."

Expect to see more hip-hop acts enshrined in the future, Stewart said.

So, congratulations to Grandmaster Flash, Kid Creole, Cowboy, Melle Mel, Mr. Ness, and Raheim on your induction and for being the pioneers of the next generation of Hall of Famers. In the next few years, look for Run DMC, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys to join them in the Hall.
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