It's that time of year again where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame unveils its nominations for entry into the "prestigious" institution. Now, you may be wondering just who the nominations for this year's class are. Here is the list, and I want to see if you notice anything strange about some of the artists listed: Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A, the Smiths, Deep Purple, Janet Jackson, Chic, Steve Miller, Chicago, Chaka Khan, the Spinners, Cheap Trick, the Cars, the J.B.'s, Los Lobos, and Yes. Did you figure out which of these is different from the others? Yes, you guessed it: N.W.A., a hip-hop rap group is nominated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This is a very perplexing idea. While N.W.A. are an inspirational group whose music has broken boundaries and made an impact on the world and society in general, they shouldn't be allowed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Why? Because they aren't rock musicians!
This is the inherent problem of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Bands like Deep Purple, whose song "Smoke on the Water" is the first song everyone learns on guitar, are only just being nominated this year even though they have been eligible for induction almost since the beginning of the institution
Bands like Public Enemy and Run D.M.C shouldn't be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because they are not in the rock genre (though they may get a pass for collaborating with metal group Anthrax and rock group Aerosmith, respectively). If you were to go onto iTunes and look for these artists, it wouldn't be under the rock section, would it?
This is the inherent problem of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Bands like Deep Purple, whose song "Smoke on the Water" is the first song everyone learns on guitar, are only just being nominated this year even though they have been eligible for induction almost since the beginning of the institution. To be eligible, you need to have released your first single 25 years before the nomination. This is basically the only rule in being inducted, and bands that are crucial to the evolution of the genre, such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, have been ignored for the introduction of newer bands such as Green Day.
That's not to say that the bands inducted don't deserve the honor. Far from it; most of the bands that have been inducted definitely have contributed significantly to music. The problem is that the nominees for the Hall are chosen by just a few individuals who may or may not have a vendetta against certain groups or artists, thus preventing them from being inducted.
What should happen is that a more narrow criteria list should be created to prevent non-rock musicians from being inducted. While they should be awarded for their contributions to music, if it's not rock and roll or a precursor to rock, it shouldn't be in the Hall. The bands that are nominated should be voted on as well, allowing bands to be nominated when they should have been years ago. That way, it's a more democratic process than the music elite picking artists they like for the lowly public to vote on. It's a flawed system that needs to be changed.
Hip hop and rap should also get their own Hall of Fame, as the genre of music is basically the equivalent of rock in the 50's for a modern day, in terms of its innovation and uniqueness. That way, artists like N.W.A. who deserve to be recognized can be in a proper and appropriate venue instead of shoe-horning them into a genre of music that they aren't. Millions of people would flock to this Hall of Fame, as it is a dominant music genre to this day, hence the trying to put them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a flawed institution that can become a great one if they buckle down and actually care about the music they are honoring.