Gangsta rap pioneers NWA have been nominated to be inducted in the 2016 class of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. While fans may see this as a great opportunity to acknowledge a group that simultaneously pushed the envelope of free speech while helping to break down the boundaries separating hip hop and pop culture, others may see this as another rap group trying to horn in on the rock genre and its institutions.
Well, I’m here to say those people are assholes.
NWA are, and have always been, Rock & Roll.
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s nomination site:
N.W.A’s improbable rise from marginalized outsiders to the most controversial and complicated voices of their generation remains one of rock’s most explosive, relevant and challenging tales. From their Compton, California, headquarters, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella would — by force of will and unrelenting tales of street life — sell tens of millions of records, influence multiple generations the world over and extend artistic middle fingers to the societal barriers of geography, respectability, caste, authority and whatever else happened to get in their way.
The influence of NWA can never be overstated. This one group has given birth to the lanes that have produced hip hop as we know it today: Death Row, Ruthless Records, Lynch Mob and Aftermath Records, as well as acts such as the Yo-Yo, Dogg Pound, Bone Thugs and Harmony, Westside Connection, Eminem, D-12, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar and all of the branching acts, music styles and movements that stem from them, NWA’s reach is massive.
Like children, these groups have spread NWA’s honest, spit-in-your-face rebellious DNA throughout the industry’s bloodstream.
If there’s any hip hop group that deserves the honor of being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame it’s them.
And that’s word to the motherfucka…