Jay-Z leads Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Jay-Z is among the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

Jay-Z leads Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Jay-Z may have “99 Problems,” but getting into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame isn’t one of them.

The Brooklyn-born rapper — who changed the game with such hits as “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” “Big Pimpin’,” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” and, of course, his No. 1 smash “Empire State of Mind” — made history as the first living solo rapper to be inducted into the rock hall when the class of 2021 was announced on Wednesday morning.

Getting in on his first year of eligibility — which is 25 years after an artist’s debut record — Jay-Z is just the third solo rapper to join music’s exclusive club, following posthumous inductions for Tupac Shakur (2017) and the Notorious B.I.G. (2020).

Hova leads a diverse group of acts being immortalized in the RRHOF, including Foo Fighters, Tina Turner, Carole King, the Go-Go’s and Todd Rundgren.

Like Jay-Z, Foo Fighters made the cut in their first year of eligibility. It marks the second induction for Foo frontman Dave Grohl, who had already booked his seat in the rock hall with Nirvana.

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters

Turner and King are also now two-time inductees: Turner — who was previously enshrined 30 years ago as one-half of Ike and Tina Turner in 1991 — is now getting much-deserved love as a solo artist. Meanwhile, King, who was inducted as a songwriter in 1990, is being recognized as a performer 50 years after her classic 1971 album “Tapestry.”

Tina Turner

While it’s hard to argue with Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Turner and King getting a place in the rock hall, it’s a little surprising that the ’80s girl group the Go-Go’s made it in on their first nomination. Especially when you consider that “I’m Every Woman”singer Chaka Khan was nominated for the sixth time — her third solo nod, in addition to three with Rufus featuring Chaka Khan.

Carole King

And did the Go-Go’s really deserve to beat Kate Bush, the New York Dolls and Rage Against the Machine into the RRHOF?

The Go-Go's
The Go-Go’s
Vicki Berndt

Rundgren’s induction on his third nomination reinforces the rock hall’s tired tendency toward white male classic rockers. He got the call over such artists as Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J and Dionne Warwick — a long overdue first-time nominee — who would have contributed to more diverse representation. (While not breaking through in the performer category, LL did receive the musical excellence award.)

Todd Rundgren

Still, three of the six inductees are female artists, which is certainly a better showing for women than the RRHOF has managed in most years.

And after COVID-19 ruined the party last year, it will be great that there can be an actual ceremony to celebrate the inductees in October at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

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