Twenty-one years after its first class of inductees, the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame finally remedied its most glaring omission in 2007.
Two years ago, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first rap group inducted. Since then, voters appear to be making up for lost time, tabbing Run-DMC to join Metallica, Jeff Beck, Little Anthony & the Imperials and Bobby Womack in this year’s crop of honorees.
The choice of the crew from Hollis, Queens was a no-brainer. Joseph “DJ Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels and the late Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell ushered in the new school of rap with their 1983 debut, “It’s Like That/Sucka MCs,” and never looked back.
Dropping three albums in three years (“Run D.M.C.,” “King of Rock” and “Raising Hell”), Run-DMC altered the genre’s sense of fashion and fusion. Eminem gets the honor of inducting the tougher-than-leather trio during the ceremony, which is slated to air live on Fuse TV on Saturday at 9 p.m.
With the Hall finally recognizing hip-hop’s contributions to the world, Pop and Hiss takes a look at six other worthy candidates for inclusion, and the odds that they may get in.
A Tribe Called Quest
In the 19 years since Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Phife and Q-Tip decided to loop the bass line from Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” thereby essentially establishing the template for alternative hip-hop (along with De La Soul’s “3 Feet High and Rising”), A Tribe Called Quest have earned the myriad hosannas thrown their way. From the jazz flirtations of “The Low End Theory” and “Midnight Marauders,” to introducing J Dilla to the world on their last two records, their impact is incalculable.
Odds of inclusion: 3:2
With their coffee-shop bohemian vibe and sterling catalog, Tribe is the rare rap group that won’t scare off more reactionary voters.
Eric B. & Rakim
The god MC -- rapping can be classified into two eras: pre- and post-Rakim. With his artisanal craft and complex polysyllabic flow, Rakim nailed the coffin of the ABAB school of lyricism. The trinity of “Paid in Full,” “Follow the Leader” and “Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em” comprise an MC Old Testament of sorts.
Odds of inclusion: 3:1
While eventual admission is inevitable, Eric B. & Rakim never managed to crack the Top 20 of the Billboard charts, something that could potentially stymie imminent induction.
“Enter the Wu-Tang” was the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” to a generation born between 1975 and 1985. Factor in the labyrinth of solo classics and Wu affiliates, and the Clan really can’t be, uh…messed with.
Odds of inclusion: 4:1
Debuting in 1993, the Wu entered the game long after their competition, and the Hall doesn’t seem ready to start inducting more than one rap group a year.
Ice-T may have pioneered West Coast gangsta rap, but the crew from Compton refined his formula, backed by Dre’s red asphalt beats and Ice Cube, Eazy E and Ren’s apoplectic raps.
Odds of inclusion: 3:2
Once followed by the FBI, Dre and Ice Cube’s mogul turns and Eazy’s death make them a lock to be the first West Coast rap inductees.
Houston’s version of N.W.A., the core trio of Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick Bill created some of the most unsettling and poignant gangsta rap songs ever recorded. Despite their massive popularity below the Mason-Dixon Line, they remain underrated.
Odds of inclusion: 10:1
Those are just the odds that anyone on the selection committee can name three Geto Boys songs.
Chuck D’s searing political raps -- paired with the Bomb Squad’s destructive squall -- laid the foundation for both political hip-hop and sample bricolage. With their revolutionary style, P.E. tapped into the zeitgeist of the late Reagan Years like no other.
Odds of Induction: 5:3
With their radical but Air America-respected politics, Public Enemy should be a lock for induction within the next few years -- unless the judges have seen too many episodes of “Flavor of Love.”
-- Jeff Weiss
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air live on Fuse TV, on Saturday at 9 p.m.
Photo of Eminem. Credit: Associated Press