Generally, when someone thinks of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame they tend to think of either a singer or band in the rock genre.
Since it was created in 1983, there has been some non-rockers who have gotten in. In 2009, you had Run DMC; 2012 you had Beastie Boys, and just last year you had N.W.A. We may have another hip hop artist join them in the Hall as Tupac was announced as one of the nominees for the Class of 2017 in addition to other bands like Pearl Jam and Journey.
We are still having a bit of time before the Hall of Fame will announce who the nominees will get inducted and Tupac should be one of the names mentioned. If the Hall of Fame does not put Tupac as one of the finalists for the Class of 2017, it will be a big mistake on their end.
One case that could be made for Tupac is the amount of albums that were sold.
It should be noted that Tupac Shakur was active from 1987- 1996 until he was unfortunately shot in Las Vegas. In that short time span of being one of the best rappers to come from New York, he would go on to produce five studio albums, ten compilation albums, fifty music videos, forty-four singles, five posthumous albums, and one mix-tape.
However, the biggest part when it comes to his albums that were sold was the fact how many more have been sold since he passed away over two decades ago. As of June of 2014, he was the second best-selling rapper of the Nielsen Soundscan era with 29,235,000 albums sold since his unfortunate passing.
Like that was enough, the RIAA has certified his albums sales at 36.5 million. However, if you include the albums that were sold under his Makaveli name, the amount of albums that were sold is roughly over 40 million. To put that in perspective, you can look at someone like Michael Jackson. Michael passed away in 2009 and since his death has sold only 750 million albums.
Another case that could be made on Tupac belonging in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the influence he had on the genre. If you talk to any fans of rap and ask them who their favorites are, and if they were around in the late 1980’s to 1990’s, then typically you will get an answer of Tupac.
While you have rappers like Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, who are legends in rap as well. I can almost guarantee that they would say that if it wasn’t for Tupac, rap would be much different now. It is safe to say also that Tupac wasn’t just a singer, but he was a legend.
This was shown by how his song lyrics were raw and showed the lifestyle he endured living in East Harlem, New York in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Some of the big names in the hip-hop genre were influenced and had their careers made by associating with Tupac.
Some of them included Dr. Dre, Ice T, Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G, and MC Hammer. It should be noted that the names mentioned were those who were active when Tupac was still active. If you look at the list of the current hip hop artists who were influenced by Tupac some of the names on there would be Drake, The Game, and Eminem.
It should be interesting to note though that someone like Eminem was that he started when Tupac was still active and he is Eminem is still active today in 2016. While Tupac was making it big on the music scene, he was also a political activist, poet, and philosopher.
It can be safe to say that during a Tupac’s career, he wore many hats and was successful in everything he did.
There are hundreds of reasons why Tupac should belong in the Hall, I would say the biggest reason is he was bigger than hip-hop as he was someone who wanted better for everyone. If he is not one of the finalists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, then they made a huge mistake.
I feel for someone who gave a lot of time and energy for hip-hop and was taken way too young by guns, this would be the best way for him to be honored. Some could make the argument that the Beatles are considered one of the most influential rock bands and Tupac in my eyes is one of the most influential hip-hop artists.
So my message is please make the right decision and put Tupac in the hall in 2017.