JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Guest Commentary: Jay-Z Belongs in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame

I like to have younger writers take their shots here. Today’s offering comes from Stephanie Officer, whose blog, msofficer.com, is original and sharp. She believes Jay-Z belongs in the Hall of Fame—now. (I continue to ask: Kiss and Hall & Oates? What does it take?)

The nominees for the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2011 are in, and Jay-Z is not on the list. This is a dire mistake. An artist becomes eligible for induction 25 years after his/her first record is released, but Jay’s the type you bend the rules for. Rap is represented—via LL Cool J. While he is very deserving, there’s no denying Shawn Carter.

If they don’t really want to wait ’til 2021, the committee still has a chance to rectify this.

Let’s look over the official stats:

“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”

-Reasonable Doubt alone is enough.
-50 million records sold worldwide (That means there’s a kid in the Philippines planning a trip to Marcy right now)
-Has sold more solo Number 1 records than anyone else in history, eclipsing The Beatles & Elvis
-10 Grammys, 10 VMA’s, 13 BET Awards (Including BET’s Hip Hop Awards)

“This is much more than Rap, we’re Black entrepreneurs/Clothing, movies & films we came to conquer it all”

Jay-Z’s proven his skills time and time again. When he secured his spot as one of Rap’s best, he became President of Def Jam (while already CEO of his own Roc-A-Fella Records) and later formed his own ROCNation “Ar-my” that now boasts Rihanna as part of their roster. When Jay’s infamous battle came in ’01 via Nas, he made him throw up the ROC, signing the Queens native not even 5 years later. When Jiggaman saw everyone in Iceberg after he gave it a line, he flipped it into his own Rocawear. When Cristal said their champagne wasn’t meant for Hip-Hop, he turned that into his own Ace-of-Spades. When Michael Jordan dropped the NBA for the MLB and returned, it only foreshadowed what Jay was going to do with music 10 years later. And when Jay realized the Nets sucked in the middle of (dismal) New Jersey, he plucked them out, and is plopping them in the middle of downtown Brooklyn. Why? Because that’s where (we’re) from! He’s also the Yankees’ first living, breathing mascot.

And if none of that is enough to convince you, he married The Beyonce.

Every one of Mr. Carter’s accolades and accomplishments are just entirely too long to mention here. The Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame not only inducts those who have made significant contributions to music, but to culture overall. Jay has transcended those lines and turned himself into an icon. To ignore that is simply a crime.  Though maybe not as much as “Izzo”.

Everybody gets one.