Eminem’s Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Speech Praises Over 100 Hip-Hop Influences
This weekend, Eminem became the latest Hip-Hop artist to enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. At a Saturday (November 5) induction event and concert, Marshall Mathers was celebrated alongside Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Lionel Richie, The Eurythmics, and Carly Simon. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis joined Judas Priest in receiving the Musical Excellence awards.
While at the venue, Eminem performed a medley of his hits, including the Aerosmith-sampling “Sing For The Moment” alongside Steven Tyler. Em also did “Stan” with Ed Sheeran singing in place of Dido, as well as “My Name Is,” “Not Afraid,” and his verse from Drake collaboration “Forever.” D12’s Mr. Porter was part of the band that played with Em. The Rock Hall inductee also performed “Rap God,” a Grammy-nominated 2013 single that credited the influence of Flavor Unit’s Lakim Shabazz and N.W.A. villain MC Ren alongside widely-recognized names such as Run-D.M.C. and Tupac Shakur. Eminem brought that same energy and message into his acceptance speech.
Presenting Eminem’s induction, the already-inducted Dr. Dre (who did the same for LL Cool J in 2021) recalled the late 1990s introduction, which he credited to then Interscope Records chairman and co-founder Jimmy Iovine. “Over 20 years ago, Jimmy Iovine played a demo tape for me from a guy who called himself Eminem,” Dre said. “The first thing I said when I heard it was ‘What the f*ck did he just say?’” Aftermath Entertainment’s founder continued: “Eminem flipped Hip-Hop on its head. While forcing us to confront our own biases, growing not only the genre but all of us along with it.”
As the lone Hip-Hop induction for 2022, Eminem used his ensuing moment to praise his influences. He advocated for his genre and culture from the podium at Los Angeles, California’s Microsoft Theater. “I’ll keep this as painless as possible. I’m f*cking stuttering and sh*t. I’m probably not supposed to actually be here tonight because of a couple of reasons. One, I know that I’m a rapper, and this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There’s only a few of us who have been inducted already. Secondly, I almost died from an overdose in 2007, which kind of sucked.” He made a few jokes, including sharing his affinity for controlled substances ahead of that 2007 incident. However, Eminem seemed most focused on giving Hip-Hop its proper recognition, even from the hallowed halls of Rock & Roll. “This sh*t is crazy,” Eminem said before looking to a piece of paper. “I realize what an honor it is for me to be up here tonight and what a privilege it is to do the music that I love and the music that basically saved my life.” He added, “My musical influences are many, and they say it takes a village to raise a child,” said Eminem. “Well it took a whole genre and culture to raise me.”
“They say success has many fathers, and that’s definitely true for me. So whatever my impact has been on Hip-Hop music, I never would have or could have done this sh*t without some of the groundbreaking artists that I’m about to mention right now.
“And this is a list man, I put this list together yesterday. And I kept adding to the sh*t, adding to the sh*t, and if I forget anybody, I apologize. But these were my teachers right here: I’m gonna start with the 2 Live Crew, Tupac, 3rd Bass, Alliance, Apache, Audio Two — Milk Dee, what up! — Awesome Dre, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Big Pun, Big L, Biz Markie, The Notorious B.I.G., of course, Black Moon, the Boogiemonsters, Brand Nubian, Brother J from X Clan, Buckshot, Casual from Heiroglyphics, Chill Rob G, Chubb Rock, Chuck D and Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, D-Nice, Dana Dane, De La Soul — now I’m about a third of the way done.” The inclusion of Brand Nubian comes after a recent on-wax war of words between Lord Jamar and Em.
According to The Detroit News, Em’s list continued: “De La Soul, did I say De La Soul? Def Jef, Del The Funky Homosapien, DJ Quik, Dr. Dre of course, Dres from Black Sheep, Edo G., EPMD, Fat Boys, Fat Joe, Fu-Schnickens, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Heavy D, House of Pain, Ice Cube, Ice-T, The Intelligent Hoodlum, J.J. Fad, Jaz-O, Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Just-Ice, K-Solo, Kid n’ Play. I’m a tenth of the way done,” he quipped, suggesting the list was longer than previously estimated.
Marshall’s largely alphabetical list continued: “King Sun, King T, Kool G Rap, Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One, Kwamé, Lakim Shabazz, Large Professor, Leaders Of The New School, the one and only LL Cool J — love you, bro. Lord Finesse, Lords of the Underground, Mantronix, Masta Ace, MC Breed, MC Lyte, MC Shan, Melle Mel, Merciless Ameer, Mobb Deep, Monie Love, Nas, Newcleus, ONYX, Organized Konfusion, OutKast, André 3000, Paris, Pharcyde, Queen Latifah, Rakim, Redhead Kingpin, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, I’m almost done.”
He added, “Redman, Roxanne Shante, Run-D.M.C., Salt-N-Pepa, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, Snoop Dogg, Souls of Mischief, Special Ed, Stetsasonic, now I’m all down to the S’s. Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud, The D.O.C., The Roots, Black Thought, the Skinny Boys, Tony D, Too Short, Treach from Naughty By Nature, A Tribe Called Quest, U.T.F.O., Whodini, Wise Intelligent and the Poor Righteous Teachers, Wu-Tang Clan, and YZ.”
The MC summarized: “Those were my Rock stars man, and I just want to say, like, those are just a few of the names that I hope will be considered in the future for induction. Because without them, a lot of us wouldn’t be here. I know I wouldn’t.”
“So that’s all I had to say, man. I know this induction is supposed to be me talking about myself and sh*t man, but f*ck that. I would not be here without them. I’m a high school dropout man, with a Hip-Hop education, and these were my teachers. And it’s their night just as much as it is mine. So thank you.”
Em’s speech happens as A Tribe Called Quest was not inducted into the Rock Hall with Em, despite appearing on the February ballot. In 2017, JAY-Z tweeted an equally sprawling list of his peers and inspirations after becoming the first Hip-Hop artist to enter the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
Notably, Jimmy Iovine was also inducted, by way of the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Bruce Springsteen presented to him. The late Sugar Hill Records founder Sylvia Robinson also received that award.
The televised ceremony will air November 18 on HBO.
He released a Curtain Call 2 compilation, featuring some new songs, including “From The D 2 The LBC” with Snoop. The artist also dropped the Elvis Presley-inspired “The King & I” in June. That song featured Goodie Mob/Gnarls Barkley’s CeeLo Green.
#BonusBeat: A video playlist of Ambrosia For Heads’ “Where It All Began” series, where artists list some of their earliest inspirations, including DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Big K.R.I.T., Murs, and others: