The cover art for Jay-Z’s Tidal playlist, “Songwriting Hall of Fame,” taken from a recreation of the iconic Art Kane jazz greats photograph, “A Great Day in Harlem,” commissioned for XXL magazine with a who’s who of hip-hop greats; Photo: Gordon Parks.
Celebrating his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Jay-Z curated an exclusive playlist for Tidal featuring hip-hop artists he feels should be inducted as well. The list is a who’s who of rap stars both past and present, including Outkast, Nas, N.W.A., Lauryn Hill, Eminem, Mos Def, Eric B & Rakim, Kanye West, The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac.
Jay-Z responded to the announcement via Twitter writing, “By the way, this is a win for US. I remember when rap was said to be a fad. We are now alongside some of the greatest writers in history.” Jay-Z is the first rapper ever to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and many believe it was long overdue.
“The truth is the revolutionary people who come up with the next level of classical music are always the ones that go ‘Hmm, can I do this?’ and you do it,” said Rodgers.
“Jay Z was in a space where even though he’s had more pop albums than anyone else, he did it through rap, which is not traditionally considered part of the normal pop music scene.”
It’s no surprise that Jay-Z was the first rapper to get inducted; his resume speaks for itself: 21-Time Grammy Award Winner, 100+ million records sold, and three albums on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list.
As a veteran of the rap game he has ascended and is now a trailblazer in popular culture. Jay-Z’s induction will no doubt pave the way for others, and the list he’s compiled is a damn good place for the Hall to start.