A night celebrating the best in music was marred by non-appearances from those inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
Furthermore, Steve Miller took the organisation to task for not “respecting” artists; Deep Purple were confronted with the absence of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore; and E Street Band member Steve Van Zandt doubled down on Bruce Springsteen’s decision to boycott a gig in North Carolina, over the state’s new anti-LGBT legislation.
Before, however, the event much of the focus had been on gangsta rap group N.W.A, who revealed they would not be performing at the ceremony due to a difference of opinion with the organizers about how the live performance would unfold.
Ice Cube said that the group, “wanted to do it on a whole other level, and that just couldn’t happen”.
The group’s remaining members, Dr Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella and Cube all attended with Kendrick Lamar introducing the group. He said Ice Cube was the blueprint for his debut album and that Dre was a “scientist” and “perfectionist” who had become his mentor.
Lamar said Eazy-E was a “true mastermind” and his lyrics on songs such as “Dopeman” and “F*ck Tha Police” spoke to people around the world.
Cube added that the group’s induction into rock’n’roll’s roll of honour was a source of pride and vindication for the group and addressed criticism that a gangsta rap group don’t belong in rock’s hall of fame.
Cube said, “The question is are we rock’n’roll? I say, you goddamn right we are. It’s not an instrument or a style of music, it’s a spirit. It’s been going since the blues, jazz, bebop, heavy metal, punk rock and yes, hip-hop. What connects us all is that spirit”.
“Rock’n’roll is not conforming to the people who came before but creating your own path in life. That is rock’n’roll and that is us. Rock’n’roll is NWA”.
Dr Dre paid homage to Eazy-E and said: “There were a lot of people who were shocked by what we were saying. But this is proof to all the kids out there growing up in places similar to Compton that anything is possible”.