Hip hop is slowly starting to be embraced by the Hall (Run DMC made it first ballot in 2009), so over the next couple of years, you’ll see more rappers inducted, beginning with 2Pac. Rolling Stone named him of the 100 greatest artists of all-time, Me Against the World and All Eyez on Me are both essential albums, and pretty much every rapper ever cites him as an influence. He’s an icon, and icons make it into the Hall of Fame. He’ll probably have a new album out for the occasion, too. (For what it’s worth, Notorious B.I.G. in 2019 or bust.)
2017: Dr. Dre
If you were to guess the single rap album that shows up in the most non-rap fans’ collections, The Chronic would likely be the answer. For many, it was their introduction to the genre, and although it’s only one of two albums Dr. Dre has put out (we’re assuming Detox won’t be out by 2017), it’s a classic. That’s good enough for the Hall. Plus, Dre has his production legacy (Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Eminem, etc.) to fall back on.
Obviously. If they had stopped after OK Computer, they would have made it — and then they released four more excellent albums, and The King of Limbs.
2018: Wu Tang Clan
I asked honorary Wu-Tang Clan member, Danger Guerrero, for his thoughts on why they should make it:
The Wu-Tang Clan deserves to be a first ballot inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for many reasons (their music, their influence, their legacy), but even if you strip all that away, they should be inducted for the music video for “Gravel Pit” alone.
2018: Dave Matthews Band
Our high school selves are totally PUMPED, bro. DMB is tough. On one hand, they’ve been one of the biggest touring acts for years now, have sold in excess of 30 million albums, are the only band ever to have six straight albums debut at #1 , and their peace, love, and understanding message is something that appeals to the Baby Boomers who vote for the Hall inductees. On the other, there ain’t many jam bands in the Hall, and the few that have made it (the Grateful Dead, Traffic, to a certain extent) are looked at with fonder eye by critics than DMB. I still think they’ll make it, however, because otherwise, fans will revolt and choke the nearest Hall voter they can find with their hemp bracelets. Also, Dave Matthews has played the Hall of Fame ceremonies before, and why would he be invited if they didn’t plan on returning the favor?