The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has kept on expanding the definition of what Rock and Roll is, but it’s still not inducting hip hop acts the way it might, given hip hop culture’s huge popularity and global influence. Example #1 of this hip hop deficit is the exclusion, once again, of LL Cool J from the inductees this year.
LL Cool J was up for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for the fifth time, having been consistently nominated through the decade. But LL Cool J will be on the outside (surely not for much longer) as the Hall class of 2019 is inducted. The artists being honored with musical posterity include Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, The Cure, Def Leppard, and Roxy Music.
The Queens, New York native LL Cool J — that’s for Ladies Love Cool James, in case you didn’t know — will have good company in the nominated-but-not-yet-this year group, which is arguably more influential than those who made it. Kraftwerk, Todd Rundgren, Rage Against the Machine, Rufus and the Chaka Khan, and DEVO (they’re through being cool anyway) also have to wait after their nominations failed to result in induction. Devo speaks for all the “didn’t make it yet” acts below — who needs the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or being cool, if that’s what it means? As for LL Cool J, he’ll just have to content himself with being the first rapper to be a Kennedy Center Honors recipient.