Jay-Z & LL Cool J Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

blame it on Meka November 1, 2021

New York hip hop invades in the Hall.

Announced earlier in the year, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inducted its 2021 class this weekend (October 30), and once again hip hop has made it. Alongside Tina Turner, Foo Fighters, Gil Scott Heron, Bill Preston, and Kraftwerk, both Jay-Z and LL Cool J were formally welcomed into the hallowed halls. While Jay, Tina, and Foo Fighters were among those inducted into the Performer category, LL and Billy were among those inducted into the Musical Excellence category.

To be eligible, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. In other words, Jay-Z became a nominee in his very first year of eligibility, with his debut album Reasonable Doubt turning 25 on June 25.

Meanwhile, LL has been one of the most influential rappers of all time, releasing his debut album Radio in 1985 and becoming an early hip hop act to achieve mainstream success along with Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC. LL’s first twelve albums either went Gold or Platinum, and his 1996 compilation All World: Greatest Hits reached Platinum status. LL is also an accomplished and successful actor, first appearing in 1985’s Krush Groove and starring in films and television shows such as In The House, Any Given Sunday, and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Jay-Z and LL Cool J are the eighth and ninth hip-hop act (and third and fourth solo acts) nominated, respectively. They will now follow The Notorious B.I.G (2020), 2Pac (2017), N.W.A. (2016), Public Enemy (2012), The Beastie Boys (2012), Run DMC (2009) and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (2007).

Jay’s induction was a star-studded affair that included appearances from Dave Chappelle (in person) and Barack Obama (in a prerecorded message), and a induction video that boasted features from Beyoncé, DJ Khaled, Sean Combs, Usher, Rihanna, Pharrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Ed Sheeran, Chris Rock, Trevor Noah, Lin-Manuel Miranda, H.E.R., LeBron James, Common, David Letterman, and John Legend.

“Growing up, we didn’t think we could be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Jay would say during his acceptance speech. “We were told that hip-hop was a fad. Much like punk rock, it gave us this anti-culture, this subgenre, and there were heroes in it.”

Meanwhile, LL Cool J was inducted by the likes of Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Jennifer Lopez, with the latter two joining him on stage for performances of “Rock the Bells” and “All I Have,” respectively. During his induction speech Dr. Dre would speak on how LL’s music would inspire him during his early days as a deejay. “LL’s body of work contains some of the most diverse hip-hop has ever seen,” Dre said. “He became rap’s first pop superstar.”

The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony will air on November 20th, on HBO.