Whether penciled in history books for reasons good, bad, ugly, and/or everything in between, 2021 brought with it some of entertainment’s most memorable moments.
Now, as the year draws to a close, we are reflecting on our favorite moments that rocked – and to some degree maybe even reshaped – the Urban and Pop cultural landscape as we know it.
Next, we’ll look back at the historic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame achievement of Hip Hop icons LL Cool J and Jay-Z.
With over 125 million records sold, 23 GRAMMYs collected (the most of any rapper), 83 GRAMMY nominations (the most of any artist regardless of genre), and 14 Billboard 200 #1 albums to his credit (the most of any artist), JAY-Z reigns in history books as one of the most successful musical acts of all time. As such, it was only fitting the 52-year-old be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility (25 years after the release of his debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt’).
Among those on-hand to tribute the Rap royal were his superstar wife and child, Beyoncé and Blue Ivy, plus President Obama, Ed Sheeran, Jamie Foxx, Usher, Diddy, LeBron James, and more.
The induction made JAY-Z one of the two first living solo rappers to be listed in the Rock N Roll Hall of fame – an honor he shared with fellow Rap legend LL Cool J. Like JAY, LL is a highly regarded emcee who has sold millions of records worldwide and landed multiple #1 hits on multiple Billboard charts across his lengthy career.
While he has been eligible for induction since 2010, he wasn’t listed in a Hall of Fame class until 2021.
While JAY and Cool J are the first two living solo rappers in the organization’s prestigious halls, they are not the only Hip Hop icons. They were preceded by the genre’s pioneers Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, N.W.A, 2Pac, and the Notorious B.I.G.