Last night at the Waldorf Astoria, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - the first hip-hop act to receive the honor! The South Bronx group pioneered the genre, being the first to incorporate deejaying and emceeing.
Melle Mel told AllHipHop.com:
“We are going in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to represent exactly who we are and what we did. Nas saying that Hip-Hop is dead is 100 percent right. If there's anyone who thinks that we ain't worthy to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, well we should do something to prove them us, as well as Hip-Hop does belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Grandmaster Flash dedicated the honor "to every break dancer, to every graffiti artist, to every MC, to every DJ." Jay-Z introduced them, saying, "Thirty years later rappers have become rock stars, movie stars, leaders, educators, philanthropists, even CEOs. None of this would have been possible without the work of these men."
Other inductees included R.E.M., The Ronettes, Patti Smith, and Van Halen. Smith, who had been passed up in previous years, recalled an argument with her husband, MC5's Fred "Sonic" Smith, shortly before he died, in which he told her she would feel guilty because he would not make it. He also asked her when she did make the hall to "please accept it like a lady and not to say any curse words."