Kendrick Lamar will induct pioneering hip-hop group N.W.A into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the April 8th ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Arena. Kid Rock will also be among the artists on hand to welcome Cheap Trick into the Rock Hall. Lamar and Rock join previously announced presenters the Black Keys, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas.
Lamar, a protégé of Dr. Dre’s, has spoke often about N.W.A’s influence on him growing up in Compton. “When I think of N.W.A, it wasn’t even music to me, it was a real lifestyle,” Lamar said in an introductory video for the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. “Brothas from my neighborhood that made it out.”
In October, Lamar also shared a tribute to the late N.W.A member Eazy-E. “People were scared to talk about these kinds of tough situations, but because [Eazy] and the group took it upon themselves to talk about [these things], every artist is able to and they owe it to him,” Lamar said. “He’s not only the birth of gangsta rap, but he’s the birth of a whole legacy of being able to say what you want to say on a record and not being in fear of what others may think and not offending your own art and your own reflection.”
Rolling Stone spoke to Ice Cube in December following news of N.W.A’s passage into the Rock Hall’s Class of 2016. “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. It’s just hard to sum up in words, really,” the rapper said. “It’s everything that kind of eluded us in a lot of ways when we were coming up. So many people were opinionated about N.W.A. I think everyone now at this point, no matter how you feel about us, understands what the group actually did and what it means to modern music.”
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The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony airs on HBO on April 30th.