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Missy Elliott becomes the first female rapper in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

DJ Kool Herc gets a special nod as well

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 4 May 2023

While there were female rappers that paved the way before Missy Elliott [namely Sha-Rock, the first female MC], nearly everyone agrees that Missy changed the game and left it in a much better place with her futuristic-sounding songs and dope-as-hell videos. On May 3, it was announced that Missy Elliott qualified for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2023. She’s the only artist this year to get in on a first ballot. She is joined by another crucial element of Hip Hop, the innovator DJ Kool Herc, who got in through a special musical influence division. Also in the Hall of Fame this year are Rage Against the Machine, The Spinners, Don Cornelius, the host of Soul Train, Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, George Micheal, and Sheryl Crow.

To make it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, artists must be 25 years out from their first commercial recording. The Hall of Fame then puts 14 artists to a public and private vote. From that vote, the top vote-getters from the public and the board get in, plus six special category additions. While it’s great to celebrate who gets in, this is definitely not the best way to do it since there are at least six groups or artists who don’t make the cut and are worthy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame status. This year, A Tribe Called Quest didn’t make it in, and they are one of the most forward-thinking Hip Hop groups of all time.

Missy Elliott was an easy choice because her music and her videos were groundbreaking at the time and even now. She pushed the envelope of Hip Hop forward, and that’s a very Rock & Roll thing to do. DJ Kool Herc had the first Hip Hop party ever at 1520 Sedgwick on August 11, 1973, which is why we are all celebrating Hip Hop’s 50th birthday this year. He’s a very worthy addition to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will be held in November to induct the class of 2023 into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.