This was going to be posted last Thursday (9th). But then the Rock Hall announced they were going to name the 2015 nominees the same day. So, since there was only 1 Rap nominee for 2015, I thought I'd put it out anyway.
Below you'll find 2 different Hip Hop categories. Acts that are already eligible and future ones. Hip Hop really became a dominant musical force in the 90's, so many big names aren't eligible yet. I decided to put a number on their chances of induction. Both Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin were listed in my MIA from the Non-Performer category list.
Open to any suggestions on names I missed.
- As a DJ and Producer, he pioneered electro-funk, which had an influence on future rap records. Nominated once in 2008.
De La Soul
- Took the sound of hip-hop into new musical territories (e.g. Jazz, psychedelic).
LL Cool J
- Nominated 3X, he was the biggest male Rap act from the mid-80's to the mid-90's. But his TV career has hurt him with voters.
Eric B. & Rakim
- Rakim is often mentioned on the short list of great male rappers. Nominated once in 2012.
- There will be a case made for the solo work of Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. But it was in this group that I think they had their biggest impact. Nominated three times.
- One of the earliest originators of gangsta rap, told from the West Coast.
Salt N Pepa
- Wonder if they'll ever nominate a female rap act? This duo were the most popular.
There's going to be a plethora of big name rap names eligible down the road. Here's a look at some of the stronger possibilities for induction. And my rank on their chance of getting in.
- The biggest male rap act of the mid-90's until his death in 1996. Helped popularize gangsta rap and the West Coast sound. Eligible in 2016. 9
Notorious B.I.G. -
Like 2Pac, he died young, but his East Coast sound had an impact on future rappers. Eligible in 2019. 7
A critical and fan fave, who is often cited as one of the best rappers for his skills on the mic. Eligible in 2021. 10
Kanye West -
No other rapper has ever been so extremely talented and polarizing at the same time. But no denying the quality of this output. Eligible in 2028. 9
Not just a hugely popular hip hop artist, but also one of its smart businessmen. Eligible in 2020. 10
Wu Tang Clan -
So much talent that most of the members went on to have successful solo careers. Made some of the best East Coast rap albums ever. Eligible in 2018. 8
Ice Cube -
A member of N.W.A.. Cube actually had a bigger solo career. His West Coast sound pulled few punches in its lyrics. But like LL Cool J, I wonder if his movie work will hurt him. Eligible in 2015. 8
Dr. Dre -
Another former member of N.W.A., Dre was a double threat as Producer/Rapper. Another originator of West Coast gangsta rap. Eligible in 2017. 9
Something different. Not East or West Coast rap, but Southern rap. And some of the most diverse hip hop music of its era. Eligible in 2019. 8
Like the Wu Tang Clan, this trio had successful solo stints. More than just hip hop, they also touched on straight up Soul music. Eligible in 2019. 7
Snoop Dogg -
Popular West Coast rapper who continues to put out fresh records for nearly 2 decades now. Eligible in 2018. 7
A Tribe Called Quest -
For those that craved something other than gangsta rap in the 90's, this group delivered with it's jazzy blend of thoughtful lyrics and laid back beats.
Eligible in 2015. 6
His 1994 album, Illmatic
, often gets cited as one of the best Rap albums, and his tales of growing up in New York made him a legendary figure in East Coast Rap. Eligible in 2019. 8
Missy Elliott -
With help from Timbaland, she was the most innovative female Rap artist ever, crafting dazzling songs to back up her boasts. Eligible in 2022. 8
Get beyond the fact that they were a hip hop band that played their own instruments and what you have are a diverse batch of albums that made them critical and fan faves. Eligible in 2018. 8
Lil Wayne -
Straight outta New Orleans, no other Rap artist used the burgeoning mixtape genre to their advantage like Wayne. Incredibly popular with respect.
Eligible in 2024. 7
P. Diddy (Puff Daddy) -
No matter what name he goes by there's no denying that Sean "Puffy" Combs played a big part in the Hip Hop explosion in the 90's. But less for his music than for being a founder of Bad Boy Records. Eligible in 2022. 7