First generation Induction Nominees
Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force
The Soulsonic Force (also referred to as Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force) are an Americanelectro-funk and hip-hop ensemble led by Afrika Bambaataa who helped establish hip-hop in the early 1980s with songs such as "Planet Rock". They were also influential in the birth of the electro movement in America and helped pave the way for modern dance music styles such as electro-funk as well as the entire Miami bassscene.
In 1982, Soulsonic Force and Afrika Bambaataa released a single called "Planet Rock". The song borrowed musical motifs from German electro-pop, British rock, and African-American disco rap. All the different elements and musical styles were blended together; and in doing so, offered hip-hop as a new vision for global harmony. The song became an immediate hit and stormed the music charts worldwide.
Their most well-known songs are "Planet Rock", "Looking for the Perfect Beat" and "Renegades of Funk" (which is one of the earliest political-conscious rap songs, alongside Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five's "The Message").
Soulsonic Force feature on the title track of the Freestylers' debut album We Rock Hard.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was an influential American hip hop group formed in theSouth Bronx of New York City in 1978. Composed of one DJ (Grandmaster Flash) and five rappers(Melle Mel, The Kidd Creole, Keith Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio, and Rahiem), the group's use ofturntablism, break-beat deejaying, choreographed stage routines and lyricism was a significant force in the early development of hip-hop music.
The group rose to fame in the early 1980s with their first successful single "Freedom" and later on with their magnum opus "The Message", which is often cited as among the most influential hip hop songs. However, in 1983, relations between Grandmaster Flash, Rahiem and The Kidd Creole became strained with SugarHill records, and half the group left to record on Elektra Records. A reunion was organized in 1987, and it released a new album. Afterward, the sextet disbanded permanently.
The group was active for five years and released two studio albums. In 2007, it became the first hip hop group ever to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The Sugar Hill Gang
The Sugarhill Gang are an American hip hop group, known mostly for its 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight," the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit. The song uses an interpolation of the instrumental track from the hit "Good Times" by Chic as its foundation.
The members, all from Englewood, New Jersey consisted of Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright, Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson, and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien. The three were assembled into a group by producer Sylvia Robinson, who founded Sugar Hill Records with her husband, record mogul Joe Robinson. The group and the record company are named after the Sugar Hill, Harlem neighborhood.
The Sugarhill Gang never again topped the US charts, though it had a slew of European hits, such as "Apache", "Eighth Wonder" (which was performed on the American music show Soul Train in 1981), "Rapper's Reprise (Jam Jam)", and "Showdown" (with the Furious Five). In 1999, the trio reunited and recorded Jump on It! a hip hop children's album.
Kurtis Blow, is an Americanrapper and record producer. He is the first commercially successful rapper and the first to sign with a majorrecord label. "The Breaks", a single from his 1980 debut album, is the first certified gold record rap song
In 1979, aged twenty, Kurtis Blow became the first rapper to be signed by a major label, Mercury, which released "Christmas Rappin'". It sold over 400,000 copies. Its follow-up, "The Breaks", sold over half a million copies. He was also the first rapper to perform overseas. He released ten albums over the next eleven years. His first album was Kurtis Blow, while his second was the Top 50 pop album Deuce. Party Time featured a fusion of rap and go-go. Ego Trip included the hits: "8 Million Stories," "AJ Scratch," and "Basketball". His 1985 album, America, garnered praise for its title track's music video. From this album, the song "If I Ruled the World" became a Top 5 hit on Billboard's R&B chart. In 1996, fellow rapper Nas debuted at #1 on the BillboardHot 100 with a cover version of the song.
Doug E. Fresh
Douglas E. Davis (born September 17, 1966), better known by thestage name Doug E. Fresh, is an American rapper, record producer, and beat boxer, also known as the Human Beat Box. The pioneer of 20th-century American beatboxing, Fresh is able to accurately imitate drum machines and various special effects using only his mouth, lips, gums, throat, tongue and a microphone.Although he began his recording career as a solo artist as one of the last artists on Enjoy Records and one of the first on Vintertainment Records (the same New York-based label owned by Vincent Davis that would later make a name of Hip-Hop artist Joeski Love and bring R&B icon Keith Sweat to ultimate fame), it was when he and a new team of DJs known as the Get Fresh Crew (Barry Bee and Chill Will) along with a newcomer named MC Ricky D (who would later achieve fame as Slick Rick) came to fledgling New Jersey-based Hip-Hop label Danya/Reality Records the following year and recorded "The Show" (which borrowed the melody of the Inspector Gadget theme by Shuki Levy), and "La Di Da Di", a tune that was completely voiced by MC Ricky D and backed by Doug E's beat boxing for the entire duration of the song. It was when both of these songs were released on a single (particularly 12" single) that broke him (and Slick Rick) into stardom. Both "The Show" and "La-Di-Da-Di" are considered two of the all-time greatest early hip hop classics and, as such, make up one of the first and only Hip-Hop singles to have two hit songs on the same record.
Richard Walters (born 14 January 1965), better known by hisstage name Slick Rick, is a Grammy-nominated English-Americanrapper. He has also been known as Rick the Ruler and Ricky Dee. He began his career in late 1983, in the hip hop genre, where he recorded a series of acclaimed recordings such as "La Di Da Di" and "Children's Story". He is known for the use of narrative in his raps and has been called "hip hop's greatest storyteller."
Slick Rick rose to stardom in an era known to fans as the Golden age of hip hop. His music has been frequently sampled andinterpolated by other artists such as TLC, Black Star, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, and Color Me Badd, with many of these songs later becoming hit singles. About.com ranked him #12 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time, while The Sourceranked him #15 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time
RUN DMC. is an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded in 1981 by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jam Master Jay. The group is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop culture. Run–D.M.C. is one of the best-known hip hop acts in the 1980s who, along with LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy, signified the advent of the new school of hip hop music. They were the first group in the genre to have a gold album (Run–D.M.C., 1984) and be nominated for a Grammy Award. They were the first to earn a platinum record (King of Rock, 1985), the first to earn a multiplatinum certification (Raising Hell, 1986), the first to have videos on MTV, and the first to appear on American Bandstand and the cover of Rolling Stone. Run–D.M.C. was the only hip hop act to perform at Live Aid in 1985.
The group was among the first to highlight the importance of the MC and DJ relationship. In 2004,Rolling Stone ranked them number 48 in their list of the greatest musical artists of all time. In 2007, Run–D.M.C. was named "The Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time" by MTV.com and "Greatest Hip Hop Artist of All Time" by VH1. On April 4, 2009, rapper Eminem inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In doing so, Run–D.M.C. became only the second hip hop group in history to be inducted, afterGrandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
Second generation Induction Nominees
Eric B. & Rakim
Eric B. & Rakim were an American hip hop duo, composed of DJ Eric B. (born Eric Barrier, November 8, 1965) and MC Rakim (born William Michael Griffin Jr., January 28, 1968).
Hailing from Long Island, New York, the duo were referred to by the journalist Tom Terrell of NPR as "the most influential DJ/MC combo in contemporary pop music period,"while the editors of About.com ranked them as No. 3 on their list of the 10 Greatest Hip-Hop Duos of All-Time. They were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, although they did not make the final selection.
Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, DJ Lord, The S1W group,Khari Wynn and Professor Griff. Formed in Long Island, New York in 1982, they are known for their politically charged lyrics and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community. Their first four albums during the late 1980s and early 1990s were all certified either gold or platinum and were, according to music critic Robert Hilburn, "the most acclaimed body of work ever by a rap act." In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Public Enemynumber 44 on its list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The group was inducted into theLong Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007. The band were announced as inductees for the 2013 class of theRock and Roll Hall of Fame on December 11, 2012, making them the fourth hip-hop act to be inducted afterGrandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run–D.M.C. and The Beastie Boys.
Kool Moe Dee
In the late 1970s, Kool Moe Dee met Special K, DJ Easy Lee, and LA Sunshine to form the influential old school hip hop group the Treacherous Three onEnjoy Records. It was with The Treacherous Three in 1981 that Kool Moe Dee performed his freestyle onstage roast of old school party rapper Busy Bee Starski, a performance frequently cited as a pivotal moment in the development of the battle rap and the lyrical rapper. In 1981, they moved to Sugar Hill Records along with another Enjoy Records act Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The Treacherous Three became well known for their singles "Feel the Heart Beat" and "Action", and their song "The New Rap Language" (with Spoonie G) earned Kool Moe Dee the distinction of inventing the "double time" flow, which involved rapid sixteenth-note delivery with a lot of internal rhyme. The Treacherous Three were featured in the 1984 movie Beat Street, performing the song "Xmas Rap" with Doug E. Fresh.
LL Cool J
James Todd Smith (born January 14, 1968), better known as LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love CoolJames), is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. He is known for pioneering hip-hop tracks such as "I Can't Live Without My Radio", "I'm Bad", "The Boomin' System", "Rock The Bells", and "Mama Said Knock You Out" as well as romantic ballads such as "I Need Love", "Around the Way Girl", and "Hey Lover".
He has released thirteen studio albums and two greatest hits compilations, including 2008's Exit 13, the last for his record deal with Def Jam Recordings. His latest album, Authentic, was released on April 30, 2013. He has also appeared in numerous films, including Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and currently stars as NCISSpecial Agent Sam Hanna on the CBS crime drama television series NCIS: Los Angeles.
Salt-N-Pepa is an American hip hop trio from Queens, New York, The group, consisting of Cheryl James ("Salt"), Sandra Denton ("Pepa"), and Deidra Roper ("DJ Spinderella"), was formed in 1985 and was one of the first all-female rap groups. Salt-N-Pepa has won a total of 5 awards; Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (1995), MTV Video Music Award for Best Electronic Dance Music Video (1994), MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography (1994), MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video (1994) and BET Hip Hop Awards I Am Hip-Hop Icon Award (2010).
were an American hip hop band from New York City, formed in 1981. For the majority of its career, the group consisted of Michael "Mike D" Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam "MCA" Yauch(vocals, bass) and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz (vocals, guitar).
Originally formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band in 1981 by Diamond (vocals), John Berry (guitar), Yauch (bass) and Kate Schellenbach (drums), the band appeared on the compilation cassetteNew York Thrash, before recording their first EP Polly Wog Stew in 1982. Berry left shortly thereafter, and was replaced by Horovitz. After achieving moderate local success with the 1983 experimental hip hop 12-inch "Cooky Puss", Schellenbach dropped out and the group made a full transition to hip hop, releasing a string of successful singles. The Beastie Boys toured with Madonna in 1985 and a year later released their debut album Licensed to Ill. The group sold 22 million albums in the United States and 40 million albums worldwide, making them, according to Billboard, "the biggest-selling rap group" since 1991.
Third generation Inductee Nominees
Tupac Amaru Shakur (/ˈtuːpɑːk ʃəˈkʊər/ too-pahk shə-koor; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His double disc albums All Eyez on Me and his Greatest Hits are among the best selling albums in the United States. He has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone which ranked him 86th on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, he was ranked number 2 by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. 2Pac is also ranked as the most influential rapper of all time.
Shakur began his career as a roadie, backup dancer, and MC for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground, eventually branching off as a solo artist. The themes of most of Shakur's songs revolved around the violence and hardship in inner cities, racism and other social problems. Both of his parents and several other of his family were members of the Black Panther Party, whose ideals were reflected in his songs
Notorious B.I.G., Biggie or Biggie Smalls,was an American rapper.
Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. When he released his debut album Ready to Die in 1994, he became a central figure in the East Coast hip hop scene and increased New York's visibility in the genre at a time when West Coast hip hop was dominant in the mainstream. The following year, Wallace led his childhood friends to chart success through his protégé group, Junior M.A.F.I.A. While recording his second album, Wallace was heavily involved in the growing East Coast/West Coast hip hop feud.
On March 9, 1997, Wallace was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. His double-disc set Life After Death, released 16 days later, rose to No. 1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamondin 2000, one of the few hip hop albums to receive this certification. Wallace was noted for his "loose, easy flow",dark semi-autobiographical lyrics and storytelling abilities. Two more albums have been released since his death. He has certified sales of 17 million units in the United States.
(an abbreviation of Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton (California) that is widely considered to have been among the earliest and most significant popularizers of the gangsta rap and west coast hip hop subgenres while also being credited by many as one of the most important groups in the history of rap music. Active from 1986 to 1991, the rap group endured controversy due to their music's explicit lyrics that many viewed as being disrespectful of women, as well as its glorification of drugs and crime. The group was subsequently banned from many mainstream American radio stations. In spite of this, the group has sold over 10 million units in the United States alone. The group was also known for their deep hatred of the police system, which sparked much controversy over the years.