Marshall Bruce Mathers III, a.k.a. Eminem, is now officially eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Eminem is one of the greatest rappers of all time and has earned his iconic status. However, some are protesting inducting Eminem into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame because his music isn’t Rock and Roll.
However, this is unlikely to stop his induction. The fact is that he is a very big name in music. His induction will sound just right to many of his fans.
Why is Eminem Eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
It’s almost been 25 years since Eminem released his first album, Infinite. Hence, officials can nominate to induct Eminem in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This means that Marshall Mathers will more than likely see his name in the prestigious hall.
Eminem may officially be nominated in early 2022, and he may be inducted later that same year. John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation has voiced his enthusiasm for inducting hip hop artists.
“Just like any artist must evolve in their career, so should the Hall of Fame… Rock and roll was the music for so many years that moved youth culture. It still is part of it, but now you have hip-hop and rap that really is part of that.”
-John Sykes (Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation)
Inducting Eminem in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame won’t be the last, in a long line of inductions. Non-Rock & Roll inductions have been going on for a long time. In 2021, Jay-Z is going to have his moment of fame, being inducted into the hall on October 30th.
Before him, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted by Jay-Z into the Hall in 2007. After that, Public Enemy, N.W.A, Tupac Shakur, and Notorious B.I.G were all admitted in 2013.
Hence, the inductions into the Hall had begun to diversify long before Eminem. The Hall has now become more inclusive in terms of taste as well as race.
Of course, many people aren’t happy about this.
The Case Against Inducting Eminem in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Rock Purists are understandably upset again that the Rock Hall of Fame is inducting a non-Rock artist. There is a Hip Hop Hall of Fame after all. Eminem rightly deserves his place there.
Rock purists have criticized such inductions at the expense of artists like Iron Maiden and New York Dolls. Gene Simmons criticized the exclusion of Rage Against the Machine, even though the group was nominated in 2021. The group has been eligible since 2017 though. Not inducting such an influential group can be seen as tantamount to disrespect.
Rapper Ice Cube got into a heated argument with Gene Simmons when the latter said he was “looking forward to the death of rap”.
“Rock and roll is not an instrument, rock and roll is not even a style of music. Rock and roll is a spirit… @genesimmons Who stole the soul? Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Chubby Checkers help invent Rock ‘n’ Roll. We invent it. Y’all reprint it.”
However, Simmons shot back with: “Respect NWA, but when Led Zep gets into Rap Hall of Fame, I will agree with your point.”
The simple fact that Rock and Roll and Hip Hop or Rap aren’t the same things is easy to understand. Yet, today, Rock and Roll, which used to appeal to youth yesterday, is quite different.
Today, the youth is bopping their heads to a different kind of music, and there’s no denying it. Inducting Eminem in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is something that will happen, whether we like it or not.
That being said, John Sykes, the Hall of Fame chairman planned this all along. This is no stunt to please the new Millennial and Gen-Z audience.
John Sykes’ Plan Made Inducting Eminem in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Possible
John Sykes was the co-founder of MTV and served as president of VH1 during its golden era of music videos. He’s been focused on taking annual inductions beyond the same 1960s/1970s artists. His influence has led to the induction of rap and hip-hop artists.
“I have told the board and all our committees that we have an ongoing commitment to honor the artists who really created the sound of youth culture,”
As a result, Jay-Z will be headlining this year’s inductions and will present awards to several Rap and Hip-Hop artists. For example, LL Cool J will receive the Music Excellence Award. Also, the jazz poet Gil Scott-Hero will be inducted as an Early Influencer. His poetry was seen as a precursor to rap.
Seeing all this, it only makes sense to include Eminem in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He has been one of the most influential artists of all time in recent memory. He is also the best-selling hip-hop artist of all time. That makes him rank ahead of Queen, AC/DC, the Eagles, and the Rolling Stones. There is perhaps no one who hasn’t heard of his music and his signature voice.
The rapper also wrote music for “Venom”, the supervillain origin story motion picture. Also, his performance at the 2020 Academy Awards drew a lot of praise. Thus, his influence hasn’t waned, and he’s still making waves. After 25 years of being an artist, that makes inducting Eminem into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a no-brainer.
Other Artists Eligible for Induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Several other artists are eligible for induction. These include:
- Belle & Sebastian
- Dropkick Murphys
- Erykah Badu
- Fatboy Slim
- Fiona Apple
- Fountains of Wayne
- Gillian Welch
- Lil’ Kim
- Matchbox Twenty
- Patty Griffin
- Spice Girls
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Perhaps this is all for the best. Inducting Eminem in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame certainly isn’t a tragedy. If anything, it’s a win. After all, pop didn’t stay the same as it was in the 60s did it?