“Rap overtakes rock as the most popular genre among music fans,” shouted a 2018 USA Today headline. Born on the streets of 1970’s inner-city America, the influential genre has dispatched to second place the formally dominant, seemingly immortal art form known as rock ‘n’ roll. Way to go rap music. So happy for you and yours. While I’m fairly sure we can all agree that the modern-day minstrel show known as rap music has been an overall net positive for generations of urban youths, I haven’t actually listened to much of the melody challenged genre during the last two decades.
I know it sounds like I’m coming at y’all like a hater. Please don’t misunderstand. At times I still get into some of the really hardcore stuff, mostly the old school West Coast of NWA, Dre, Snoop. Truth be told, my favorite tunes are the really old, old school. Many of you will undoubtedly understand my reasons for sticking to the upbeat, fun stuff – Sugarhill to Jazzy and Fresh Prince. You see, I’m one of those very entertaining flailing armed car singers. If a song is playing, I have no choice but to sing – or rap – with the tune. You’ve seen me at red lights. You’re welcome for the laughs.
So, back in the day I would zip around Los Angeles with ten CDs on the changer, mostly hollering out heavy metal tunes with depth and sincerity. But there were many occasions when I would enjoy rhyming along with “The Chronic,” or something similar. Being a weak-ass white boy, I always felt the insufferable social pressure to substitute forbidden words. Well, it was that one word in particular. You know the word. Society’s rules had my flow going “Neighbor this and neighbor that,” so as to not receive a beat down or random “you’re so raaaaacist” stink eye from my fellow whiteys.
By the time the overblown media-hyped panic known as Y2K had passed, I had decided that the societal requirement of switching out forbidden words detracted from my musical enjoyment. Especially considering all the stuff was getting worse and worse. By then, it felt like every other rap lyric was about this disgruntled neighbor and that disgruntled neighbor – or some tricky ho. I’m sorry, I cannot believe that every woman those rap artists know are sluts or prostitutes. Correct me if I’m wrong.
That being said, back to the point I was trying to make. The separate and distinct genre of music known as rap music is now more popular in America than rock ‘n’ roll. From the bottom of my music-loving heart, I off my congratulations. But that begs the question, why the fuck are rappers and rap groups in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame? Think about it, there’s going on five decades of unique, brilliant, artfully crafted, culturally defining music truly deserving of its very own hall of fame. It can and should be done. It’s the right thing to do!
I’m hoping once that happens, them dumb son-of-a-bitches running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame will have the space needed to induct Ted Nugent into his rightful place alongside fellow icons. The H.O.F. is a complete farce without the truly great Motor City Madman. Sure, Uncle Ted’s said some stupid shit while unapologetically diving head-first into many divisive issues of our times. But scores of millions of Americans know he is a patriot, and agree with at least ninety percent of what Nugent believes. If not saying or doing anything dumb and avoiding controversy is the new standard, they need to shutter that Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame immediately. Phil Spector ring a bell? Murderer, and Hall of Famer. Brilliant.
We have all heard the ludicrous argument that Ted Nugent’s body of work does not merit the honor of being in the Hall. I must call “radishes” on that one. By every metric – album sales, influential song catalog, millions of concert tickets sold during his decades of touring arenas – there is no credible argument that Nugent’s rock career is not Hall of Fame material. If Ted Nugent was a flag-burning gun-grabbing drug-addled Godless-vegan-sodomite he would have been a first-ballot selection. And you know it.