Tupac Shakur Induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Tupac Shakur 1996 MTV Music Awards Featuring: Tupac Shakur Where: New York City, Nevada, United States When: 04 Sep 1996 Credit: Chris Connor / WENN

Tupac Shakur has been named as one of 6 artists being inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.  Besides 2Pac, the honorees include Pearl Jam, Journey, Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra and Yes. 2Pac is the sixth Hip Hop artist/group inducted into the RRHOF and as always, brings controversy with his induction.  2Pac becomes the first solo rapper inducted into the RRHOF.

The other 5 Hip Hop artists inducted are Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and N.W.A.  There are many other acts and rappers waiting in the wing that deserve to be in the Hall also.  But today, it’s all about 2Pac!

When we first heard Pac rock the mic was on Digital Underground’sSame Song” and the 8 bars he spit left us wishing and begging for more!  On the video, he’s wearing some African garbs which is a clue of what was to come.

Now I clown around when I hang around with the Underground
Girls used to frown, say I’m down, when I come around
Gas me and when they pass me they use to diss me
Harrass me, but now they ask me if they can kiss me
Get some fame, people change, wanna live they life high
Same song, can’t go wrong, if I play the nice guy
(Claimin’ fame, must have changed, now that we became strong)
I remain, still the same (why Tu’?) cause it’s the same song

While Tupac was still alive he dropped 4 albums, and to many one was better than the next!  When 2Pacalypse Now dropped, we had heard the track “Brenda’s Got A Baby” and immediately knew that we were going to get a more conscious rapper.  But there are more than one side to Pac!

Once we heard “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…” we were finally getting what we were wishing for!  “Holler If Ya Hear Me“, “Keep Ya Head Up” and “I Get Around” were all bangin’ and crossover hits that even the not-so hardcore Hip Hop fan took notice!

To say that 2Pac had hits is an understatement!  Songs like “Dear Mama“, “If I Die Tonight“, “2 of America’s Most Wanted“, “California Love“, “How Do You Want It“, “Hail Mary“, “To Live & Die in L.A.“, “Do For Love” and so on and so on.  We can be here all day!  So why is it important for 2Pac to be in the Hall of Fame?

The majority of rappers and MC’s usually only have one style of flowing and if it worked, they didn’t changed.  The old adage of “If it ain’t broke, why fix it.” comes to mind. Rappers like Too Short and MC’s like Rakim all that the same style on almost every track, but they were revered by many and sold millions of albums.  2Pac had so many sides to him.  He had the player side with songs like “I Get Around” and “How Do You Want It“.  He had the conscious side with songs like “Keep Your Head Up” and “Changes“.  He had a soft side with songs like “Dear Mama” and “I Ain’t Mad at Cha“.  He had a mean and destructive side on songs like “Hit Em Up” and “Bomb First“.  He also had a passionate side when he pleads the Lord to help him until he’s almost out of breathe on “Hellrazor“.  The man truly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

He was also a producer, a poet and an actor with movies like “Poetic Justice“, “Above The Rim“, “Bullet” and the unforgettable “Juice“.   He was multi-talented and good at everything he did.  The man truly had the “Midas touch”.

When N.W.A was inducted we have people all around us saying, “This is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame not the Rap Hall of Fame!  Go make your own Hall of Fame!”.  Well, as much as you don’t like it, rappers don’t invite themselves.  There is a reason they are invited and later inducted.  MC’s like Rakim and LL Cool J and groups like Gang Starr and A Tribe Called Quest deserve induction!   Their music is timeless and changed the rap game forever!  Chuck D of Public Enemy was asked about 2pacs induction by saying, “Got forever love for Pac, but there ain’t a solo rap act that should get in the RRHOF before LL Cool J!”.  So even other rappers are not happy with 2pac’s induction.

So, should we start our own Hip Hop Hall of Fame?  If we do, who would be the first one to get in?  Will it be full with more east coast groups than west coast groups?  Which female would go in first?  So many questions, but we can leave this question for another day!

We congratulate Tupac Shakur on his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and it is well deserved.  It would’ve been nice to see him go up to the podium and give a speech and even before a medley of his greatest hits, but unfortunately we will not!  I’m not sure that if he was still alive, he would’ve been proud of this moment!  If he was, you know he’d be dressed in a nice Versace suit with gold chains all around his neck throwing up the “W”!  Doesn’t matter!  He might not be here amongst us, but his music will live on forever!  We love you 2Pac!!!

-Al E.


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