With 2013 finding Public Enemy inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone recently included a group of rappers among a list of artists slated to become eligible for the honors in the coming years. The article, which cites eligibility as beginning 25 years after an artist or band’s debut album, comes days before this year’s induction ceremony this Thursday (April 10) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Alongside bands like Green Day, Weezer, and Radiohead, the Rolling Stone article kicks off with The Notorious B.I.G.’s upcoming eligibility beginning in 2019. Released in September of 1994, the rapper’s debut, Ready To Die, has gone on to receive a quadruple platinum rating and a Grammy nomination for the single “Big Poppa.” The rapper’s life and career was chronicled in the 2009 film Notorious.
Like Biggie, Outkast’s debut Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was also released in 1994 and the duo’s career has included six Grammy awards since. Following up Southernplayalistic two years later with ATLiens and then Aquemini in 1998, the group released three more albums throughout the 2000s before focusing on their respective solo careers. Earlier this year the duo announced a string of tour dates including a spot co-headlining this month’s Coachella festival.
The first rapper slated to become eligible on Rolling Stone’s list is Tupac Shakur given the 1991 release of his first album 2Pacalypse Now. While the album has since been eclipsed in commercial popularity by later releases like All Eyez On Me and Me Against the World, the tracklist includes one of the rapper’s most ubiquitous songs in “Brenda's Got A Baby.” Further representing the West Coast on Rolling Stone’s list, Dr. Dre will become eligible for induction in 2017, the year after his “California Love” collaborator.
Elsewhere on the list, Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) will turn 25 in 2018. The group’s 1993 debut went platinum in 1995 and has since doubled the feat. Recently, news of a single-copy album called The Wu - Once Upon a Time In Shaolin surfaced and RZA has since claimed the group has received an offer of $5 million. Speaking with HipHopDX in an article released last week, RZA explained the secrecy behind the body of work. “I kept it a secret because I want it to be what I want it to be which was, ‘Yo, this is a piece of art,’” he said. “It belongs in an art setting, venue, a museum, or a gallery. It’s as rare as any Picasso, any Van Gogh. It’s as rare—as I said in my article—as finding an Egyptian scepter. It’s as rare as the Mona Lisa. It’s rare, yo. It’s only one. We commissioned a great artist to design the box around it. It looks like a holy book might be in that box.”
Past Hip Hop artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame include Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and Run-DMC. Earlier this year, Kiss singer Gene Simmons, whose band’s original lineup is being inducted in this year’s ceremony, complained about the Hall’s inclusion of Hip Hop artists. “You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?” he said. “Run-DMC in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me! That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!”