Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five Are First Rappers Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Hip-Hop’s Biggest Milestones in Music History
For Black History Month this year, Rémy Martin teams up with XXL to celebrate 10 important moments in hip-hop history. Through the years, Rémy Martin has created a synonymous relationship between cognac and music culture by representing celebration and entertainment seamlessly. In honor of hip-hop’s nearly 50-year existence, host DJ Suss One, XXL Awards Board members Kendell "Sav" Freeman, Vice President/Co-Head of Urban Music at Arista Records; Sydney Margetson, Senior Vice President of Publicity at Atlantic Records; and Traci Adams, Executive Vice President of Promotion at Epic Records, revisit Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five becoming the first rappers to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, as a monumental milestone in the genre.
There may not be a more important group to the nativity of hip-hop than Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, who became the first rap group inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Majorly responsible for pushing social commentary into rap on their poignant 1982 song “The Message,” at a time when the fledgling hip-hop genre was in party mode, the Bronx natives changed the game. The track was so impactful that it was selected in 2002 by the Library of Congress to be included in the National Recording Registry.
Jay-Z, who delivered the group’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction speech on March 12, 2007, astutely described the group’s significance to hip-hop, saying, “From rocking parties at the South Bronx[‘s] legendary Black Door, to the release of hip-hop classics like ‘The Message,’ Grandmaster Flash and his crew of trailblazing MCs The Furious Five—Cowboy, Melle Mel, Kidd Creole, Rahiem and Scorpio—became hip-hop’s first supergroup pioneers and the legends for a musical genre that would become a cultural revolution.”
Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s induction into the Hall of Fame opened the door for other rappers to be recognized. Since they were honored, seven more rap acts have been added to the list including Run-DMC (2009), Beastie Boys (2012), Public Enemy (2013), N.W.A (2016), Tupac Shakur (2017), The Notorious B.I.G. (2020) and Jay-Z (2021).
Important milestones in hip-hop like this deserve recognition for years to come. As part of Black History Month, Rémy Martin and XXL will be making a donation to Black Music Action Coalition, an advocacy organization that was formed to addresses systemic racism within the music industry and reaches racial justice throughout society at large. Rémy Martin and XXL will match every additional dollar donated to BMAC during Black History Month.*
Watch DJ Suss One, Kendell "Sav" Freeman, Sydney Margetson and Traci Adams discuss Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction below.
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*Rémy Martin to match donations up to $50K, XXL to match donations up to $10K.