Biggie Smalls Will Be Inducted Into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

After weeks of open voting, the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee class was revealed this Wednesday morning (January 15). With some notable musical acts up for consideration — Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, and T-Rex — it is their sixth on the list, The Notorious B.I.G., that will likely make many Hip-Hop fans happy. The 35th annual class will cement Biggie Smalls’ impact, despite a short-but-amazing career, with an induction into immortality.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame an individual artist or band must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. Last September marked the very moment when B.I.G.’s first album, Ready To Die, became eligible. That Bad Boy Records release boasted production from Easy Mo Bee, DJ Premier, Puff Daddy, Trackmasters, Chucky Thompson, Bluez Brothers, Lord Finesse, and others.

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The inducted musicians were chosen from an October ballot of 16 finalists, which meant fans of Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews, Kraftwerk, MC5, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, Thin Lizzy, and Judas Priest will have to wait at least another year for Rock Hall validation. Ballots were cast by an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, including current living inductees, historians and members of the music industry. Factors such as an artist’s musical influence, body of work, innovation, style and technique are taken into consideration with the voting, according to the organization.

Biggie Smalls is arguably one of the greatest MCs of all-time. The Brooklyn, New York-born Christopher Wallace displayed an incredible knack for versatile rapping, mixed with a laid-back yet street-infused style that also traced his success into a mafioso persona. With that narrative, Smalls blended boom-bap and Gangsta Rap as an unconventional Hip-Hop superstar. Following his now six-times-platinum debut, Smalls played a heavy role in Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s 1995 Conspiracy album, which he also executive produced. Tragically, Biggie was killed on March 9, 1997. That happened less than three weeks before the release of now-diamond-certified double album, Life After Death. Biggie also worked with Mary J. Blige, Heavy D & The Boyz, and JAY-Z. There have been several posthumous releases through Bad Boy.

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Biggie’s accolades include Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and a famous four-win night at the 1995 Source Awards.

Rappers in the Hall include Biggie collaborator Tupac Shakur as well as Beastie Boys, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, N.W.A., Public Enemy, and Run-D.M.C.

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In addition to the six musical acts, veteran Rock journalist, producer and artist manager Jon Landau is going into the Rock Hall as well.

The 35th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place this May in Cleveland, Ohio. Tickets will go on sale to the public beginning February 27. Performances and special guests for the event will be announced at a later date. The televised version of the ceremony will be broadcast live on HBO on May 2 at 8 pm ET.