Picture Tupac rollin’…into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
On Tuesday (Dec. 20), it was announced that Tupac Shakur will officially be inducted into the Rock Hall at the 32nd annual ceremony next year. He joins a celebrated cast of musicians, including Pearl Jam, Journey, Yes, Joan Baez, and Electric Light Orchestra. Nile Rodgers will also enter the Hall with a Musical Excellence nod.
The late legend’s estate celebrated the selection with a statement on Instagram. “On behalf of the Tupac Estate, we are incredibly honored to announce that Tupac has been selected as one of the 2017 inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” reads the statement. “Thank you to the nominating committee and to his fans who supported his nomination by voting. This award recognizes how Tupac’s message of change and mission to give a voice to those who didn’t have one continues to resonate with millions of people to this day. You are the reason Tupac’s legacy lives on.”
Last year, N.W.A became the fifth hip-hop act to enter the Hall, following Grandmaster Flash, Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy. Kendrick Lamar introduced the “World’s Most Dangerous Group” at the ceremony, explaining how they redefined the meaning of gangster.
“Being gangster symbolizes a hustle that you can change your reality,” he explained. “The true meaning of gangster, being able to show what it takes to be the world’s biggest music group.”
However, controversy preceded the ceremony as some questioned whether rappers should enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at all. Ice Cube answered this criticism on stage. “Are we rock and roll?” asked Cube. “I say, you goddamn right we rock and roll. Rock and roll is not an instrument. Rock and roll is not even a style of music. Rock and roll is a spirit.”
Tupac was among the 19 nominees for the 2017 Rock Hall, which also included Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, and Kraftwerk.