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Rock Hall of Fame Bypasses Hip Hop Artists for Second Year in a Row

Ringo Starr leads this year's list of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But for the second year in a row no rappers made the list. (Photo: Getty)

Ringo Starr leads this year’s list of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But for the second year in a row no rappers made the list. (Photo: Getty)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be without hip hop artists for the second year in a row, even though the mid-1980s into the 1990s spawned some of the greatest rap and hip hop music in the genre’s history.

Indeed, many music critics call that time period the “Golden Age” of hip hop.

So far, four hip-hop groups have been inducted beginning with Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five in 2007. They were followed by Run–D.M.C. in 2009, white rap group The Beastie Boys in 2012 and Public Enemy in 2013.

But that leaves a lot of classic rappers and rap groups on the outside lookings.

That includes A Tribe Called Quest, Slick Rick, Old Dirty Bastard, N.W.A, LL Cool J, Dr. Dre, The Sugar Hill Gang and 2 Live Crew to mention a few.

All of those artists were active before 1990, the cut off date this year for induction. An artist isn’t eligible for the hall until 25 years after their first album release.

In the next few years, rappers like Tupac Shakur, Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, Snoop Dogg and Ton Loc will also become eligible. They launched their careers in the early 1990s.

Inducting rap artists has not been without controversy. It took 35 years before Grandmaster Flash was inducted amid protests over whether the music could be classified as “rock,” according to the Hall’s Web site.

Even after the induction of Run-D.M.C., the first rap group to fuse rock and, critics still question whether rap and hip hop groups belonged.

Gene Simmons, frontman for the glam metal band KISS, has been one of the most vocal critics. During his band’s induction ceremony earlier this year, he charged that the Hall was “diluting” itself with hip-hop, pop and disco artists.

Simmons blamed “back room politics” for the induction of groups like Run-D.M.C.

This year’s inductees include former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, as a solo artist. He was inducted as part of The Beatles in 1988. Already inducted as solo artists are bandmates John Lennon (1994), Paul McCartney (1999) and George Harrison (2004).

Late rocker Lou Reed, punk-rock group Green Day and singer Bill Withers are also on the list along with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, rhythm and blues band the “5” Royales and late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble .

More than 700 artists, music industry professionals and historians help to decide who is inducted. The public also cast their votes in a “fans ballot.”

The induction ceremony will be held in Cleveland on April 18.

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