From Compton To Cleveland — 2016 Rock Hall Inductees Announced

Cleveland just gained a bit of street cred. Hip-hop pioneers N.W.A, coming off their successful bio-film, Straight Outta Compton, have been given the nod to join the 31st class of Rock Hall Inductees.

The hip-hop group emerged from the unlikely city of Compton in the late 1980s by artistically mouthing off on social barriers and giving suppressed black youth a voice. They were among the first to evoke the struggles of the young black community in southern California in the late 80s and early 90s, specifically the struggle against white police. An issue that still stands true in today’s society, with the #blacklivesmatter movement.

This marks the fourth time that the MCs out of Compton have been up for induction in the hall, and it may have been thanks to the success of the their blockbuster bio-pic earlier this year that provided the assertion they needed to remind critics of the groups impactful influence, despite their short-lived collaboration.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Ice Cube stated the significance of finally being inducted after three previous nominations.

“It’s hard to sum up exactly what it means. It means a lot of things. It means that the group’s mark is kind of solidified. It’s all legitimized in a way because the whole music industry has to honor the group in a way.”

This marks just the fifth time that a hip-hop group/act has been inducted to the rock hall, the others being Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy. The small number of hip-hop inductees also brings to light the issue of the lack of diversity among the hall and within the panel that selects those inducted. According to Billboard there are currently only six women and seven people of color out of the 41 voting members.

The four other acts that will be honored alongside N.W.A at the hall’s induction ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 8 include Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, Deep Purple, and Chicago, according to the official site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With all acts aside from Deep Purple, who’ve been nominated three times, being inducted on their first nomination.

Notable acts that were left off the ballot were pop superstar Janet Jackson (who was nominated for the first time and even had fans start up a facebook page in support of her induction), The Cars, Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails, the Smiths, and Chic, who have been nominated a record 10 times.

According to the Rock Hall site, artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record and there are no limits to how many times an artist can be nominated.

The 2015 inductees areas follows.

Cheap Trick – Ranked No. 25 in VH1‘s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock is a first time nominee.

Chicago – According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. They also led this year’s inductees with most fan votes. They have sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum, and eight multi-platinum albums.

Deep Purple – Ranked No. 22 on VH1‘s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and ranked fifth among the “most influential bands ever” on a British radio station, Planet Rock, the “Smoke on the Water” group are the only inductee to have been nominated more than once.

Steve Miller – Received the ASCAP Golden Note Award in 2008 and is best known for classic rock staples such as “The Joker” and “Take the Money and Run” with his self-titled band, Steve Miller Band.

Tickets for the ceremony will be made available in February for the general public and a broadcast will be aired on HBO later that spring.

[Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images]