Tupac Shakur: Hip-Hop Meets Rock and Roll

Tupac Shakur will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, and hip-hop fans are rejoicing. He joins classic rock groups Journey, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, Pearl Jam and folk singer, Joan Baez. After his first year of eligibility, the fans and the members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation made their decision; the hip-hop legend deserves the honor.

We are sure that the induction won’t be without controversy considering legendary Kiss frontman, Gene Simmons was not pleased when rap group NWA made the cut for 2016 induction just because he felt they were not “rock and roll.”

2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees including Tupac Shakur. Source: WDTV.com.
2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees including Tupac Shakur.
Source: WDTV.com.

Hip-hop fans could care less what the aging rocker thinks. There is no other artist as deserving of the honor since Shakur’s music and rhymes are still relevant two decades after his death. He touched on the social issues that are still plaguing our society today like police brutality, domestic violence, gender and race equality, and of course, the war on drugs.

You know they got me trapped in this prison of seclusion

Happiness, living on the streets is a delusion

– Tupac Shakur, Trapped

His were the words of the past, present and future and many hip-hop fans know and can relate to the frustration he talked about. We’re still living it.

Hip hop legend, Tupac Shakur. Source: CBS News.
Hip hop legend, Tupac Shakur.
Source: CBS News.

So does this mean that current rap artists will be able to look forward to the honor in the distant future? Not likely, the mumble-mouthed rap stars today cannot hold a candle to Shakur’s style or lyrics. It takes more than a catchy beat and a few words that rhyme to make a rap legend.

They have no style. There’s more to rap than words that rhyme. Real rap has a message, it tells a story. It is an extension of African folklore, the method used to relay stories of ancestors. Today’s rap. Not so much. Everyone sounds the same. None of it will hold up to the test of time and it definitely isn’t memorable.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame picked an ideal candidate to represent the history of rap. Tupac Shakur used his lyrics to inspire a generation. And just like Bob Dylan’s lyrics earned him a Nobel Prize in Literature, Shakur’s lyrics earned him a well-deserved spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hip-hop fans rejoice!