Rapper Tupac Shakur will posthumously be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tupac will be the sixth rapper to be inducted, but the first solo artist. The previous rap groups to be inducted before him include Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, and N.W.A.
Other artists to be inducted next year include Pearl Jam, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, and Joan Baez. The induction ceremony is set to happen in April 2017.
The announcement of Tupac into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has not been without controversy. People have long criticized the inclusion of rap artists in this ceremony. Last year when N.W.A. was inducted, Gene Simmons of KISS had much to say on the topic, including that he is “looking forward to the death of hip-hop.” On the topic of rappers in the Hall of Fame Simmons said “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.” After much back and forth with rapper Ice Cube on the subject, Simmons said on Twitter “Respectfully– let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the hip hop hall of fame. Then youll have a point.”
Ice Cube held his ground in defense of rap artist being into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by going back to Rock and Roll’s origins. He tweeted to Gene Simmons “Who stole the soul? Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Chubby Checkers help invent Rock ‘n’ Roll. We invent it. Y’all reprint it.”