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Rap Music Hall of Fame

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So, I was driving home from work and I had a thought, if there was a rap music hall of fame, how would it work?  Seriously, if you had to justify who went into the hall, how would you do it?  What are the most important things to consider?  What is the rap music equivalent to 500 homers or 3000 hits, that everyone above that level is almost automatically included?  How do you make it so that someone like Drake, who has been the biggest rap star in the world for a decade goes in, but people like Big K.R.I.T. and Freddie Gibbs, who may have the highest quality output over that time are included as well?  Who would be the first 10 artists that you would include in the inaugural class?  The first 10 should be the 10 people who are the combination of most important, and biggest draw for fans of rap music worldwide.  This is a RAP MUSIC hall of fame, not a hip-hop hall of fame.  That is a whole different conversation that would make this already absurdly difficult to nail down genre even more absurdly difficult to nail down.  So this is just for rappers, producers, DJ's who are primarily associated with rap music not mixing and scratching.  

So, in my mind here are my criteria.  Anyone with 3 classic albums or 5 classic singles.  I know this sounds like a low bar to climb over, but there aren't that many people who have either one of those.  Think about it like this, I don't think The Wu-Tang Clan as a group has either.  They are one of the greatest rap groups of all time, but there are not 3 classic albums as a group, and after C.R.E.A.M. AND Triumph, what else you got for classic singles?  How about Nas?  One of the greatest MCs of all time, but you'd have a pretty hard time trying to convince everyone that he has 3 classic albums or 5 classic singles.  Even if you have 3 Nas albums you consider Classic, how many people o you know who would have the same 3 Nas albums as classics?  Honestly try to think of all the people who have on or the other and unless you are someone who calls everything a classic, you'll probably have a pretty short list.  When I say album, I don't mean mainstream, major label album, I mean any collection of songs put out by an artist.  So, albums, mixtapes, EPs, LPs, etc., all work.  If you look at someone like Young Jeezy, you have "Thug Motivation 101" and "Trap or Die"..."Put On," and "Soul Survivor."  Are those projects good enough for him to get in?  I don't know, but it's a good debate.  

Is a rapper, producer, etc. the voice or sound of an era of rap music?  2pac, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, etc.  If you are talking about an era in rap, these are the people who either started or defined that era.  Let's go back to Young Jeezy, when you think of the era of rap where major labels have no idea what to do, so rappers have to get out there and build their careers through word of mouth.  Who are the most important artists of that era?  In my mind, it's 50 Cent and Young Jeezy.  Now think, of those two who had the biggest influence on artist going forward?  It's Jeezy.  If you look at what rap music was before Jeezy and look at what has happened since he made his rise, you can see a direct link.  The same thing with Kanye West, if you listen to music before "The Blueprint" and then listen to the music in the decade after "The Blueprint" you can see the direct link.  

Were you ever part of a holy trilogy?  Biggie Jay-z and Nas...Rakim, BIg Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap...Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Outkast...NWA, Public Enemy, EPMD...Things like that matter in hip-hop, it's almost a pseudo-sport and who is the best at any particular time means something.  If you are in the conversation for best rapper alive, you have done something fairly incredible.  

So, here are my 10 inaugural class

  1. Dr.. Dre
  2. DJ Premier
  3. Eric B. and Rakim
  4. 2pac
  5. The Notorious B.I.G.
  6. Run DMC
  7. A Tribe Called Quest
  8. Outkast
  9. Jay-z
  10. Public Enemy
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2 hours ago, supremebve said:

Who would be the first 10 artists that you would include in the inaugural class?  The first 10 should be the 10 people who are the combination of most important, and biggest draw for fans of rap music worldwide.

  1. 2pac
  2. The Notorious B.I.G.
  3. Dr. Dre
  4. Jay Z
  5. Eminem
  6. Snoop Dogg
  7. Wu-Tang Clan
  8. Kanye West
  9. Nas
  10. MF DOOM

Trying not to be too biased, but...

That's just my list based off what you said in that quote - most important, and the biggest draw(s). My personal HOF ballot would look much, much different than this, but would have a handful of the same names on it. I don't really think many people can argue against any of these names - maybe DOOM, but there's definitely an argument for his inclusion too.

Everyone on this list are certified legends or at the very least, highly influential to their peers or the generation(s) that came after them. But, like I said, my list would be entirely different if I could just come up with a list of who I personally think is deserving of a hypothetical HOF induction. I struggled with whether I should include The Alchemist on this list, and actually had him at #10 (among other producers), but settled with DOOM.

I think, depending on what "era" you grew up in, the list will be wildly different. If you went on HipHopHeads and asked, you'd see a plethora of different names on a Top 10 list. Old heads wouldn't like the newer generation's list, vice versa. But unless you're including people like fuckin' Lil' Xan or extremely newer artists/groups, I think an argument can be made for most people.

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Quote

But, like I said, my list would be entirely different if I could just come up with a list of who I personally think is deserving of a hypothetical HOF induction.

This. Half of supremebve's list would be second or third year inductions. I would focus more on pioneers and golden age for a first year list. 

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The first inductee is James Brown. 

Then you lay out your early guys right off the bat. Sugar Hill Gang, Kool G Rap, Kurtis Blow, the entirety of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, You don't induct Bambaataa cause he probably fucked kids.

First ballot no-brainers include Run DMC, Rakim, Public Enemy, NWA, Biggie, and Pac.

There are shoe-in Hall of Famers and consensus all-time greats like Nas, Jay,-Z Wu Tang, Outkast, Eminem, Dilla, Kurtis Blow, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliot, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Spoonie G, Big Daddy Kane, either the Fugees or just Lauryn as a solo act, Slick Rick, , Schoolly D, Kanye, Beastie Boys, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, Biz Markie, Geto Boys... and everybody else I'm forgetting, you can go ahead and put them in as headliner during the coming years. But I think you instantly put in everybody above this paragraph in first and cherry-pick this big list depending on who can show up that year and what your ratings look like, since this is probably a televised thing.

Also, put together a longlist of artists who weren't actually hip-hop dudes that you can induct anyways. for credibility boosters / crossover attractions in subsequent years. Gil Scott Heron, Muhammad Ali, Lee Scratch Perry, Blondie, Rudy Ray Moore, whatever.

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I know I'm just using my own criteria here (specifying "albums" as criteria cuts nearly every single hip-hop pioneer out - there weren't really notable hip-hop albums until the mid-to-late 80's), but to me no rap HoF is worth a shit until DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow, Cold Crush Brothers, Spoonie G, Fab Five Freddy, Grandmaster Caz, DJ Hollywood, etc. go in first. THEN you can bring in the Run-DMCs, the Public Enemys, the LLs, the Beasties, and tons of other acts from the Golden Age. Once you get through the STACKED mid-to-late 80's, you can start pulling on gangsta rappers that came after Ice-T and Schoolly D, and maybe like 20 years into inductions we can get around to fucking Eminem and Lil Wayne.

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OK, so I'm never going to be of the opinion that being first means you belong more than people who came after and moved the art form forward.  I get the sentiment, but that's not my opinion at all.  With that said, these things are generally decided by committee, so my opinion only goes so far.  Another thing I wouldn't do is put in anyone who hasn't actually made any rap music.  James Brown is very important to rap music, but there isn't a single rap song in his catalog.  Should Bob James be in?  Nautilus is as sampled as any song ever, but he's not a rapper.  That is like putting a good rugby player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, because football was derived from rugby.  I love James Brown, but he doesn't belong here.  

When I made my list I made it so it would attract the most visitors and be 10 must have acts.  I started with Dre and Preemo because I think those two have the most iconic hip-hop sounds.  I think Dre's ultra-polished, almost clean sounding, West Coast production and DJ Premier's more rugged, East Coast production are kind of the bookends that everything kind of falls between.  Those two are no-brainers as far as I'm concerned.  I think Eric B. and Rakim have to be there, because of how far Rakim took the art of MCing.  I don't think there is an artist who made rapping something that inspired rappers to step up their lyrical game more than him.  I could be wrong, but in my mind he's the MC that changed rap the most.  2pac and Biggie are next, and they are the two most influencial rap stars of all time.  As far as star power is concerned, those two are the gold standard, and I don't think we live in a world where they can ever be eclipsed.  Run DMC was the voice of the generation that took rap from underground to mainstream.  No other rap act was more integral to the growth of rap music than Run DMC.  I think A Tribe Called Quest and Outkast are the greatest rap groups of all time, and no one did more to expand the boundaries of what hip-hop is than these two groups.  I could be talked into replacing one of these groups with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, but I honestly think that they were just the most well known rap group in a time when no one really knew any rap groups.  Are they really more important than the Cold Crush Brothers or the Treacherous Three?  I'd say no, but then again I can't name any Cold Crush or Treacherous Three songs.  Jay-z has crossed the 3 classic album and 5 classic singles threshold while having what may very well be the greatest career in the history of the genre.  Nas, LL Cool J, and a few others have had long careers, but Jay-Z's been much more consistent over that time.  The last entry is Public Enemy, because I thought that they are the most culturally important rap act.  

As far as other people's lists here are my thoughts so far...

Eminem.  I think Eminem is an all-time great rapper, but I also think his catalog is vastly overrated.  I think it can be argued that his first three albums are classics, but if you go back and listen to them there is a lot of filler on all three of them.  I think he belongs in the hall, I just don't think he should be an inaugural inductee.

Snoop Dogg.  I think the two rappers who can be argued to be inaugural inductees or not hall of famers at all are Snoop Dogg and LL Cool J.  If you look over Snoop Dogg's career, how many actual great moments are there?  Doggystyle is an all-time great album, but does he have a second legitimately great album?  How many great songs does he have?  I think Snoop's case is based on him being the biggest rap star in the world after The Chronic and the anticipation of his debut album was incredible...then it delivered.  He was basically LeBron James coming out of high school, and then he got to the league and won a championship as a rookie.  Since then, he's been incredibly famous and has grown to be beloved, but how much of his career is hall of fame worthy?  I think Snoop is a hall of famer, but I'd hear all the arguments about why he isn't.

The Wu-Tang Clan is among my favorite rap acts of all-time, but there are multiple rap groups with better catalogs.  When I say the Wu-Tang Clan, I mean as a collective, not as solo artists.  I don't think Wu-Tang should get in until Outkast, Tribe, De La, Mobb Deep, etc. get in.  They all have better catalogs than the Wu-Tang Clan.  They are obvious hall of famers, but they aren't the first rap group I'd put in despite my fandom.

Kanye West is a valid candidate.  I wouldn't put him in as an inaugural inductee, but he's hard to argue against at this point.  

Nas is perhaps the best rapper who ever lived on his best day, but when you compare him to other all-time greats his catalog falls way short.  He has one certified, bulletproof classic, one album that everyone pretty much agrees is a classic, about 3 damn good albums, and a truckload of nonsense.  He's a home run hitter with a .163 average.  He's a hall of famer, and would be a first ballot hall of famer if the hall already existed, but he's not a inaugural class hall of famer.

MF Doom is someone who deserves a deeper look.  If there is going to be a rap music hall of fame, there needs to be not just room for underground rappers, but they should probably be at least 50% of the inductees.  MF Doom as an inaugural inductee is an interesting candidate, and I don't think I can come up with many arguments against him.

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8 minutes ago, supremebve said:

MF Doom is someone who deserves a deeper look.  If there is going to be a rap music hall of fame, there needs to be not just room for underground rappers, but they should probably be at least 50% of the inductees.  MF Doom as an inaugural inductee is an interesting candidate, and I don't think I can come up with many arguments against him.

Honestly, the underground rap thing is also an inherent problem as well for this, because if you have too much underground rap in the Hall of Fame, then suddenly you have to absolutely destroy any "albums or singles" form.

As it is, the "you must have [X] good albums/ [X] good singles" thing is an issue already, since we've seen in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a number of "1950s one-hit wonder bands who made one teenage death song get on the charts and made it, due to how influential they were". You can see this as some others- for example, the Sugar Hill Gang was basically only around for a handful of songs, but since "Rapper's Delight" basically introduced the world to the artform, they kind of HAVE TO be in the Hall. 

So, once we go past that issue, it ties to the problem with underground rappers- basically too much of underground rap music  being HOF-worthy will depend on "did this person OWN their city?"- and related, how important that city is to hip-hop. You owned New York, you owned Los Angeles, you owned Atlanta, you owned Houston- you're probably first-ballot. You were the best rapper in Salt Lake City...you're probably not a Hall of Famer.

That alone is a catch-22, because if your city was important enough, and you were a good enough rapper from that city, you probably had AT LEAST one hit. Rap is the modern-day rock and roll in that regard, and just like in the '50s and '60s, pretty much every solid garage band who'd grow their hair like the Beatles probably had at least one national hit, in this day and age, pretty much any solid MC or DJ probably made the charts at least once, and by making the charts probably had the throne in their city for at least a little bit. 

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1 minute ago, SorceressKnight said:

Honestly, the underground rap thing is also an inherent problem as well for this, because if you have too much underground rap in the Hall of Fame, then suddenly you have to absolutely destroy any "albums or singles" form.

As it is, the "you must have [X] good albums/ [X] good singles" thing is an issue already, since we've seen in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a number of "1950s one-hit wonder bands who made one teenage death song get on the charts and made it, due to how influential they were". You can see this as some others- for example, the Sugar Hill Gang was basically only around for a handful of songs, but since "Rapper's Delight" basically introduced the world to the artform, they kind of HAVE TO be in the Hall. 

So, once we go past that issue, it ties to the problem with underground rappers- basically too much of underground rap music  being HOF-worthy will depend on "did this person OWN their city?"- and related, how important that city is to hip-hop. You owned New York, you owned Los Angeles, you owned Atlanta, you owned Houston- you're probably first-ballot. You were the best rapper in Salt Lake City...you're probably not a Hall of Famer.

That alone is a catch-22, because if your city was important enough, and you were a good enough rapper from that city, you probably had AT LEAST one hit. Rap is the modern-day rock and roll in that regard, and just like in the '50s and '60s, pretty much every solid garage band who'd grow their hair like the Beatles probably had at least one national hit, in this day and age, pretty much any solid MC or DJ probably made the charts at least once, and by making the charts probably had the throne in their city for at least a little bit. 

This is the problem that made me post this as a topic.  How exactly do we get the MF Dooms of the world recognized?  The classic singles thing hurts underground artists much more than the classic albums thing in my book, but the "counting stats" will always favor mainstream artists.  MF Doom has two bonafide classic albums, but can anyone actually name his singles?  He is kind of an artist who you listen to the entire album or nothing at all.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to properly identify these artists and how to separate the MF Dooms of the world from the random local rapper who people like?  I'm all ears.

The Sugar Hill Gang may be the single best argument to have about a rap hall of fame.  The Sugar Hill Gang were basically a Cold Crush Brothers cover band.  I understand that Rappers Delight is pretty much the first rap song that anyone outside of New York heard, but they aren't a great rap group in any measurable way.  They were just first.  That only goes so far with me.  

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If there a test to see what would be in a Rap Hall of Fame- since the Keltner List has been adjusted a few times to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it should be pretty easy to use as a standard to see where people would go, so to help people adjust their choices:

1. Were they ever considered the best rapper/group in the game? Did anyone with any major credentials argue they were the best rapper/group in the game?

2. Were they the best rapper in their genre of hip-hop?  

3. Were they the best rapper in their city? How important was that city on the hip-hop scene? Is there any proof this artist made that city a threat on the national stage (like for example, Nelly did for St.Louis, etc.)?

4. How long was this rapper on a national stage? 

5. Were they good enough they could remain a star on a national stage after their best work? If not a national stage, how much of a star were they locally after their best work was behind them?


6. Are they the very best rapper in history who is not in the Rap Hall of Fame or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? 

7. Are most rappers who have a comparable recording history and impact in the Hall of Fame?

8. Is there any evidence to suggest that the rapper is significantly better or worse than their recording career would say (were they a great underground rapper, did they destroy in rap battles, did they go national for a borderline novelty song but had a strong local career, etc.)? 

10. Are they the best rapper in their style/genre/city who is not in the Hall of Fame? ..

11. How many number 1 songs/albums did this rapper have? How many songs of theirs crossed over to the pop charts? Did they ever have a number 1 song on the pop charts? Did they ever win a Grammy? If not, how many times were they nominated?

12. How many singles did they have make the R+B/hip-hop charts? How many gold records/platinum records did they have? Did most of the other rappers who had this many big singles/big albums get in the Hall of Fame?  

13. If this rapper was the best rapper on a posse cut/album, how likely is it this song/album would be awesome?

14. What impact did this rapper have on the history of rap or hip-hop? Were they responsible for any new changes to the style? Did they innovate a new style? Did they change the game in any way? 

15.  Is there a major negative for them, and if so what is it and is it a valid reason to keep them out of the HOF? Are other rappers with the same negative in the HOF? 

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1. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5.

2. N.W.A.

3. Run D.M.C.

4, Boogie Down Productions 

5. The Juice Crew

6. Ice T

 

Then you put in the predecessors ala James Brown and George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic

This is how you begin. 

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I still don’t understand why some of you are dead set against having one or two really big names as the headliners, then some “midcard” tier acts (or whatever you want to call it), and then your Legacy inductions. If you’re presenting this on television, that’s probably the way to go.

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Your big  current names can do the inducting. And maybe perform in the place of the inductee's no longer with us.  Not like Jay-Z is going anywhere. But if you're limiting the first round to 10, start with the people that set the table. And maybe you take care of acts like The Sugar Hill Gang by having a special wing of your hall dedicated to history where there are plaques and whatnot but you aren't actually inducting them. 

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2 hours ago, Casey said:

I still don’t understand why some of you are dead set against having one or two really big names as the headliners, then some “midcard” tier acts (or whatever you want to call it), and then your Legacy inductions. If you’re presenting this on television, that’s probably the way to go.

I mean, the question was "how would you set up a good rap HoF," not "how do you put out a safe and boring television product." Nobody *wants* the midcard acts. The whole point of a HoF is that there shouldn't be midcard acts in it, and they damn sure shouldn't be getting into the Hall before more deserving acts. We have this same conversation in the WWE and R&R HoF threads every year. 

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6 hours ago, MORELOCK said:

I mean, the question was "how would you set up a good rap HoF," not "how do you put out a safe and boring television product." Nobody *wants* the midcard acts. The whole point of a HoF is that there shouldn't be midcard acts in it, and they damn sure shouldn't be getting into the Hall before more deserving acts. We have this same conversation in the WWE and R&R HoF threads every year. 

Again, that's two problems.

1) Any underground rapper would necessarily be a "midcard act". You take them out, it's only the biggest stars.

2) Rap, more than any other genre, is about the "now". Old-school rap and classic rap is effectively forgotten about by all but the biggest fans, and only the most iconic songs ever might get a little airplay now and then. If you're trying to make a rap HOF, that would end up inevitably putting in the best acts from last year in the HOF while they're still hot, even if it means Lil Xan gets in before Rakim. 

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There would be a strong consensus on most of these acts mentioned I think. I'm wondering how the voting would go once you get into Compton's Most Wanted, Spice 1, DJ Quik, obvious acts who were influential and had platinum albums but they were in a golden era where a lot of acts were going platinum. 

Now we are in an era where most top acts don't go platinum and the ones who do a lot of them are skewing the streaming numbers.. 

I mention this because popularity is something that's always going to be taken into account but there are some top acts who I don't believe have a classic album.

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On 2/23/2019 at 12:08 AM, SorceressKnight said:

If there a test to see what would be in a Rap Hall of Fame- since the Keltner List has been adjusted a few times to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it should be pretty easy to use as a standard to see where people would go, so to help people adjust their choices:

1. Were they ever considered the best rapper/group in the game? Did anyone with any major credentials argue they were the best rapper/group in the game?

2. Were they the best rapper in their genre of hip-hop?  

3. Were they the best rapper in their city? How important was that city on the hip-hop scene? Is there any proof this artist made that city a threat on the national stage (like for example, Nelly did for St.Louis, etc.)?

4. How long was this rapper on a national stage? 

5. Were they good enough they could remain a star on a national stage after their best work? If not a national stage, how much of a star were they locally after their best work was behind them?


6. Are they the very best rapper in history who is not in the Rap Hall of Fame or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? 

7. Are most rappers who have a comparable recording history and impact in the Hall of Fame?

8. Is there any evidence to suggest that the rapper is significantly better or worse than their recording career would say (were they a great underground rapper, did they destroy in rap battles, did they go national for a borderline novelty song but had a strong local career, etc.)? 

10. Are they the best rapper in their style/genre/city who is not in the Hall of Fame? ..

11. How many number 1 songs/albums did this rapper have? How many songs of theirs crossed over to the pop charts? Did they ever have a number 1 song on the pop charts? Did they ever win a Grammy? If not, how many times were they nominated?

12. How many singles did they have make the R+B/hip-hop charts? How many gold records/platinum records did they have? Did most of the other rappers who had this many big singles/big albums get in the Hall of Fame?  

13. If this rapper was the best rapper on a posse cut/album, how likely is it this song/album would be awesome?

14. What impact did this rapper have on the history of rap or hip-hop? Were they responsible for any new changes to the style? Did they innovate a new style? Did they change the game in any way? 

15.  Is there a major negative for them, and if so what is it and is it a valid reason to keep them out of the HOF? Are other rappers with the same negative in the HOF? 

  1. This is the #1 criteria for the hall.  We do need to figure out how long an artist is in that conversation though.  There was probably a 6 month period where someone could have argued that Canibus was the best rapper in the game, but then he dropped what may be the most disappointing rap album of all time.  
  2. Another rock solid criteria that needs to be considered.  Not everyone is going to be Jay-Z or Nas as far as rapping goes, but that doesn't mean they aren't dope at what they do.  E-40 is a hall of fame rapper, and his greatness should be able to stand on its own.  They aren't trying to do the same things, so we shouldn't judge them against each other.  
  3. This one is a little iffy for me.  If we are talking about Scarface, Nelly, or Eminem, sure those dudes all should be in the hall...but wouldn't all three of them get in without this specific criteria?  MC Breed is the best rapper from Flint Michigan, he had a couple of hits that went national but wasn't relevant outside of that.  That's a pretty good career all things considered, but it doesn't make him a hall of famer.
  4. This is important, but not make or break for me.  LL Cool J has been around forever, but I don't think that what makes him a hall of famer.  If anything, him being around forever is taking away from his candidacy, because his already low batting average is getting worse because he won't stop making music.  Does anyone think Jay-Z's been better since he came back from his retirement?  I really like "American Gangster" and "4:44,"  but I don't think I'll ever listen to "Kingdom Come," "The Blueprint 3," or "Magna Carta: Holy Grail" again.   I can't think of anyone who should be in just for longevity.
  5. This is more important than longevity.  Too $hort probably was at his artistic peak around "Born to Mack," but there is over a decade of relevance after that.  He found his niche and ran with it for as long as he possibly could, and that's admirable.
  6. No arguments here
  7. This is one of those things that can turn into a slippery slope.  I think people should get in on their own merits, not because we allowed other average ass people in. If the best case someone has is that someone else is in...they aren't getting my vote.
  8.   OK, this is where this gets interesting.  This is probably where the most meaningful conversation would exist in the voting process.  If I nominate someone like Black Milk as a hall of famer, what gets him in over someone like Tyga who is much more famous?  I don't think you can argue that Tyga is better than Black Milk, but how do we quantify Black Milk's excellence.  All of the concrete measurements that we can point at would put Tyga in over Black Milk, but any credible person familiar with both artists would say that Black Milk is the better artist.  It isn't like Black Milk is a surefire hall of famer, he's someone who is going to need some campaigning.  How do you convince a non-believer that someone like Black Milk belongs?  I think this is the criteria that needs the most discussion.  I don't even know where to start. 
  9. Hey, you skipped 9
  10. This doesn't need to be separate from the above discussions about style and region.
  11. This is going to sound strange, but I'm not sure record sales and crossover ability should be considered at all.  I definitely don't think an award given by a committee of non-rap fans should matter.  I think a hall of fame needs to be based on artistic merit, not commercial success.  For instance, "Licensed to Ill" is the best selling Beastie Boys album, but is that anyone's favorite Beastie Boys album?  Honestly, I think album sales leads to disingenuous arguments when talking about artistic merit.  "Illmatic is one of the greatest albums of all-time, but no one really bought that shit when it came out.  It eventually went double platinum, but "I Am" outsold "Illmatic."  I don't know anyone who would say, "I Am" is better than "Illmatic." 
  12. See 11.
  13. This is interesting.  I don't think you should get in based on a verse on one song, but let's talk about the Wu-Tang Clan.  I think almost everyone would agree, the group is a certified lock to be in the hall of fame, but how many of them should be in as solo artists?  Ghostface Killah is a lock.  Method Man is probably in without much argument.  Raekwon is a more interesting conversation than most people realize...name a good Raekwon album that didn't prominently feature Ghostface?  I'll wait.  The Rza is definitely a hall of fame producer.  Gza is borderline, but "Liquid Swords" is on the short list of best Wu-Tang solo albums.  You know who I think should get in despite not having much of a solo career?  Inspectah Deck.  His verse on "Triumph" is what most people would point to, but he has memorable verses on countless Wu-Tang tracks.  He's not the biggest star, but he's invaluable to the group as a whole.  
  14. Other than, "is this person the best," this is the most relevant conversation to me.  The easiest way to get in the hall of fame should be, "rap wouldn't be what it is without this person."  
  15. This is an important thing to figure out.  Is there something that would flat out disqualify someone?  I think LL Cool J should be in, even with that stupid ass "Accidental Racist" song.  If that doesn't disqualify someone, I don't really know what will.

Just because this has come up multiple times.  The inaugural class should be selected with the following things in mind.  There will be a television special that needs viewers.  There will be a building that needs visitors.  We don't care whether anyone who doesn't absolutely love rap watches or listens.  We want this hall of fame to be the mecca to rap fans.  When I say "rap fan" I mean someone who is invested in rap as an art form, not just entertainment.  Basically, this is a hall of fame for people who love rap, not a hall of fame for people who happen to listen to rap when they listen to music.  

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4 hours ago, supremebve said:

This is an important thing to figure out.  Is there something that would flat out disqualify someone?  I think LL Cool J should be in, even with that stupid ass "Accidental Racist" song.  If that doesn't disqualify someone, I don't really know what will.

 

The Afrika Bambaataa stuff touched on above, which I didn't know about until I read this thread.

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8 hours ago, supremebve said:
  1.  Agreed.
  2. Agreed.
  3.  Well, this is just an example of these for one. As I said- being the best rapper in New York is FAR DIFFERENT from being the best rapper in Flint, Michigan. And if you were the best in Flint, Michigan- but you didn't turn Flint into a hotbed for any serious period of time, that also matters (where, by contrast, Nelly and Eminem were so big from the era that people from St.Louis or Detroit were able to make some noise nationally.) 
  4. Ultimately, even if it's not make or break, it does have some importance. If you were very good for a long time, it's a big deal- or to use one person you claimed against, would you rather have Jay-Z in for decades of work, with some of it not being very good, or Snoop Dogg for one incredible album and song, 
  5. Agreed.
  6.  
  7. It's a slippery slope, but honestly it ties into the problem here- for a good Hall of Fame, there would be that example. So for 8's example: If you nominate Black Milk in as a Hall of Famer, but Tyga gets in first, does that make Black Milk's credibility better?
  8.  Agreed.
  9. Yeah, trying to rework the Keltner List and cutting things off.
  10. Agreed.
  11. See 12. 
  12. Using 12 for this to keep my example, but this is the one thing I just cannot agree on to a level that, if you think that, it is impossible to come to a consensus here. The only stats that people can point to are sales and chart position, and they are important to determine how you succeeded on a national scale. This is important because, as you said below, the rap Hall of Fame should be for people invested in it as an art form and not people who "happen to like rap"- which makes the "the Hall of Fame is a museum" so important. Part of any good Hall of Fame is- if you go to the Hall of Fame, by the time you leave you should know the history of that thing, good, bad, or otherwise...and for that, you need stats you can point to to say "this person belongs in."  Saying something is purely on "artistic merit" as opposed to conclusive statistics is dangerously close to saying "I just want to put everyone I like in the Hall of Fame, and if I, personally, didn't like them, then fuck them, they're not in." 
  13. Agreed. 
  14. Agreed.
  15. Agreed.

In quotes for this.

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1. Rakim

2. Public Enemy

3. Ice Cube

4. Wu-Tang Clan

5. J. Prince

Thats my first year. Jay-Z Nas Em Dre Snoop NWA Face Geto Boys ETC they are hall of fame but I feel like these five changed the game more so than most. 

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Posted (edited)

I like Casey's list but my inaugural class would be:

1. Sugar Hill Gang

2. Kurtis Blow

3. NWA (as a group)

4. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

5. KRS-One

6. Run-DMC

7. Whodini

8. LL Cool J

9. Public Enemy

10.  Eric B & Rakim

I'd do the 2 Pac / Biggie induction in the second class along with Big Daddy Kane and Wu Tang.

Edited by J.T.

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I'd put Big Daddy Kane in the first class without question. Can't put Rakim in there without his chief rival. Before Pac and Biggie go in I'd put De La , Tribe and Latifah in first... but that's me and I have a heavy Native Tongues bias

James

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19 minutes ago, J.H. said:

I'd put Big Daddy Kane in the first class without question. Can't put Rakim in there without his chief rival. Before Pac and Biggie go in I'd put De La , Tribe and Latifah in first... but that's me and I have a heavy Native Tongues bias

James

2

I'm willing to hear any arguments of Big Daddy Kane over Rakim.  I think Rakim gets a little too much credit as the best rapper in his era, when Big Daddy Kane was arguably as good of a rapper but was a much better performer/personality.

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I think BDK was more agile with his rhymes whereas Rakim was more well spoken on his. If you want a dope party vibe then BDK on your stereo. Not that Rakim couldn't do high energy but you really want BDK to get every one jammin

James

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20 hours ago, J.H. said:

I'd put Big Daddy Kane in the first class without question. Can't put Rakim in there without his chief rival. Before Pac and Biggie go in I'd put De La , Tribe and Latifah in first... but that's me and I have a heavy Native Tongues bias

James

You have a good argument, but I'm not really sure who I'd swap out on the ballot to allow BDK in.

We may just have to append the rule to allow eleven entrants.

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and christ how do we get this far and not bring up The Beastie Boys?

James

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