After years of the rap group N.W.A being surpassed, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voters are including the gangsta rap group from Compton, California, among its 31st annual group of inductees tonight. N.W.A becomes only the fifth rap group to be so honored, joining Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.
Perhaps the success of the hit biopic Straight Outta Compton gave them the extra push they needed. While the film garnered just one Oscar nomination — for Best Original Screenplay — it was one of the top 20 movies of 2015, raking in over $160 million domestic gross that year alone. How’s that for “The Strength of Street Knowledge”? Whether the group ends up rapping at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at the Barclays Center (Ice Cube says no), they will be permanently known for changing the face of hip hop, pop music, and American culture with songs like these: