Should RAP be in the “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”?

Should RAP be in the “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”?

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A good musician friend of mine recently posted on his Facebook page that he believes that Rap artists shouldn’t be inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.
In the “comment” section or as I like to think of it as the “Let the arguments begin section” opinions varied as one might expect.

A LITTLE HISTORY

Leaders in the music industry joined together in 1983 to establish the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. One of the Foundation’s many functions is to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

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I agree that Rock & Roll and Rap are two different musical genres,
related as distant cousins at best on the musical history tree.

They do share a part of history.— The Blues and R&B.
Rap and Rock both take their roots from African traditions.

It’s generally accepted that the blues evolved from African spirituals, African chants, work songs, field hollers, rural life and drum music and revivalist hymns.
Blues music, rooted in the work songs and spirituals of slavery and influenced greatly by West African musical traditions, was first played by blacks, and later by some whites, in the Mississippi Delta region of the United States around the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. Its inventors were slaves, ex-slaves and the descendants of slaves—African-American sharecroppers who sang as they toiled in the fields.

Rapping also can be traced back to its African roots. Taking a nod from blues…but moved to focus more heavily on the rhythms and beats. Centuries before hip-hop music existed, the folk poets of West Africa were delivering stories rhythmically, over drums and sparse instrumentation.

Rock and Roll took blues and focused on the more guitar-oriented side of it and started to push it from that aspect. From there you get a transition to Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly.
Ultimately, the blues were the foundation of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix and many of the other bands that today’s rock bands claim to take their influence from.

LETS COOK

Rock and Roll emerged in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It’s ingredients is a combination of different types of African -American music such as blues and jazz and gospel. Throw in a little county and western swing and BAM…. you cooked yourself up some rock and roll.
In 1951, Cleveland, Ohio Disk Jockey. Allen Freed popularizing the term rock and roll. This is one reason the Hall of fame is in Ohio and why Freed is it’s second inductee after Elvis.

Rap as a genre began at block parties in New York City in the early 1970s, when DJs began isolating the percussion breaks of  R&B,  funk, soul, and disco songs and extending them. MCs tasked with introducing the DJs and keeping the crowd energized would talk between songs, joking and generally interacting with the audience. Over time, it became common for the MCs (or rappers, as they soon became known) to talk and rhyme over and in sync with the music

 

THE ORIGINAL QUESTION

Should Rap artists be inducted to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame?

Where I think the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” made their mistake was in the naming of their organization without having the foresight of including additional genres .
“The Music Hall of Fame” was a better choice in my opinion. But its a non-profit organization and after over 30 years, the name didn’t change.
I would compare it to one of the most famous rock clubs in history, CBGB’s . It was originally suppose to be a county, bluegrass and blues bar.
As we know, that never took off and they never changed the name to represent it as a rock venue.
” It’s their party and they can do what they want to.”

BIGGER PROBLEMS

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The bigger problem of the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” is not their name or who they include but the way they treat their inductees and how they pick them.

The Foundation’s nominating committee selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year.
It’s only a few members on the board make the nominations. This don’t seem quite fair to me.

Also, as a non-profit some of their corporate officers draw a huge salary. Salaries counted for about 8% of the revenue in 2010. Compare that to the Smithsonian Institution, which boasts the largest revenue of any nonprofit museum in the country which paid salaries of only .7% ,( that’s point seven).- But This is a whole different topic.

Ultimately I would quote Billy Joel  …”Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me.”

 

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