It’s been over 20 years since the legendary rapper and activist Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting. Even though hip-hop lost one of its brightest and boldest young stars that fateful day, his influence still shines brightly.
Back in October, we learned that the celebrated rapper was selected to the ballot of nominees for the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class. This week, Tupac was officially inducted alongside Pearl Jam, Journey, Joan Baez, Yes, and Electric Light Orchestra, making him the sixth hip-hop artist to join be awarded the prestigious honor.
The prolific rhymer and civil rights activist was accepted to the Rock Hall in his first year of eligibility, and is arguably the most deserving rapper of all-time. Selected for his impeccable and poetic lyricism, Pac also remains an icon for African-American activism. Other hip-hop artists that have been inducted include NWA, Public Enemy, Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five and The Beastie Boys.
While 20 years may seem like a long time to wait before acknowledging Tupac’s enormous influence on the music world, an artist has to have released their debut album at least 25 years from the induction year to be considered. So, those of you who have prefer to crown Biggie as the king of hip-hop will have to wait three years to vote for Big Poppa.
Although you might think that Tupac would be considered a shoo-in for induction, the rapper still faced some stiff competition from other great artists who didn’t make the cut, including Janet Jackson, Depeche Mode, The Cars, and Bad Brains. While some close-minded musicians, like Kiss’ Gene Simmons, have been outspoken about rappers not belonging in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, it’s clear that hip-hop has a place in the renowned club.