Jamaican DJ Kool Herc Up For Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction

Jamaican legend and hip hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc among nominees for induction in the 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

DJ Kool Herc
DJ Kool Herc

Jamaican DJ Kool Herc is to be inducted by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his role in pioneering hip hop music.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominates Kool Herc and Missy Elliot as the only two hip-hop figures who are part of the Class of 2023 inductees. Kool Herc will be receiving the Musical Influence Award, while Missy is the first female rapper to be inducted, and she is being awarded the Performer Award.

“This year’s incredible group of inductees reflects the diverse artists and sounds that define rock & roll,” the Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, John Sykes, stated. “We are honored that this November’s Induction Ceremony in New York will coincide with two milestones in music culture; the 90th birthday of Willie Nelson and the 50th Anniversary of the birth of Hip Hop.”

The organization also released a mini-feature on Kool Herc that gave him credit for his involvement in developing hip-hop music and listed his own musical influences as none other than the pioneer of soul music, James Brown, dub music pioneer King Tubby, and the legendary Lee Scratch Perry.

For many, there is no debate as to Kool Herc’s parties introducing the deejaying mic style that later developed into hip-hop music as we know it. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame attributes Kool Herc’s lively parties were held annually as a back-to-school event to raise funds for his sister Cindy and one party kept at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue on August 11, 1973, to the historical moment hip hop music and culture as we know it was birthed.

DJ Kool Herc was also known for his huge sound systems in the Bronx area where he often threw block parties inspired by the street dance culture in Jamaica.

The write-up goes on to say the DJ’s innovation and experimentation of music was the blueprint that created hip hop, and that style and culture still maintain to this day.

The 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for November 3 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Other members of the class this year are Chaka Khan, Rage Against The Machine, Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, George Michael, Sheryl Crow, Link Wray, The Spinners, Al Kooper, Don Cornelius, and Bernie Taupin.

Missy Elliot also shared an emotional reaction to being named an inductee, telling fans she cried after learning she will be inducted among the more than dozen other amazing musicians.

Missy Elliott’s album Supa Dupa Fly was released 25 years ago, and her acceptance by the organization comes just at the mark they consider class members.