I can't help from taking a deep breath before writing thispost about whether or not rap should be included in the Rock And Roll Hall OfFame.
A fellow Yahoo! Music blogging comrade saw a lot of Twitterchatter about LL Cool J making the list of nominees to be inducted in March2010.
I took a look and found four main objective opinions beingexpressed. Of course, there were people, like myself, who were in agreementwith LL's nomination. But there were just as many with opposing point of views.
Some felt that because rap music is not technically rock androll, it should not be included in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Others said thatLL Cool J had no business being inducted ahead of particular artists. Andanother subset of folks didn't think LL Cool J was worthy of the prestigioushonor at all.
Got a minute? We need to talk.
One tweeter annoyed by LL's inclusion posted a comment thatmade me laugh. "It says ROCK and roll, not rap and roll," @moviequill wrote. Iunderstand the confusion here. Rock is a clearly defined genre. When you are ina record store, and you walk into the rock section, you will not find any hiphop albums.
However, people are taking the Rock And Hall Of Fame title too literally. Theorganization clearly was not founded with the intent of only recognizing thecontributions from artists who solely recorded rock songs.
According to the organization's website, the Rock And Roll Hall Of FameFoundation was created to "honor the men and women who have made uniquecontributions to the energy and evolution of rock and roll."
For specific examples, click here to takea look at the list of artists who have been inducted over the last 24 years.You will find artists from several popular genres-rock, R&B, country,blues, and pop.
In fact, the first group of inductees back in 1986 included a diverse makeupof musicians-Robert Johnson, James Brown, and the Everly Brothers. So to@moviequill's point, while the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is not called the RapAnd Roll Hall Of Fame, it is also not called Blues And Roll, Soul And Roll, orCountry And Roll, yet the aforementioned artists were included alongside thelikes of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Despite its genre specific title, I've always grouped theRock And Roll Hall Of Fame along with the Grammys, and American Music Awards,as entities that recognized the best in popular music.
Besides the questions about the fundamental structure of theHall Of Fame awards, I consider fair any debates about whether or notparticular rap artists should be included.
Tweets from @TheJeSSe1, @NSRGarret, and @FailBlogger argue that Journey, Kiss and Genesis takepriority over the Queens, New York-bred rapperwho scored his first hit "I Need A Beat" in 1985 when he was 16.
As a rap fan, I support LL's nomination. He has sold 20 million albums. Hehas remained relevant and influential his entire career. He was the first flagshipartist signed to the legendary Def Jam Records. LL has also maintained asuccessful acting career.
The inclusion of hip hop artists has sparked such debatebecause there are so few rap artists in the Hall Of Fame. Since the Hall OfFame ceremony has been around for 24 years, and the first rap group was not includeduntil 2007, it seems all-of-a-sudden and out-of-the-ordinary.
However,there is a reason why rappers have only recently come up in the voting. Inorder to be considered for induction, an artist must have released a record 25years prior to the induction.
Therearen't very many rappers who have been around for 25 years.
Bycomparison, you have to consider that rap is still a relatively new genre that didn'timpact the mainstream until the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" hit in1979.
Acommittee determines the nominees. And afterwards, an international group ofmusic industry professional vote for the winners.