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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Says Eminem Is as “Hard Hitting” as “Any Metal Song”

"It's a chest punch with a message and with a power and with a rhythm and with a band"

eminem rock and roll hall of fame hard hitting metal song defend class 22 2022
Eminem, photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
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    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2022 class, and Eminem is set to become only the 10th hip-hop artist enshrined. In a new interview with Audacy, Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris defended the Detroit rapper’s inclusion, calling his music “as hard hitting and straight ahead as any metal song.”

    Eminem, 49, not only ushered in the second act of Dr. Dre’s career, he also brought horrorcore to mainstream audiences. As Harris pointed, the Detroit MC is no stranger to the Hall. “He has come and helped us,” Harris said. “He came and helped induct Run-DMC, and then he popped up on stage at the last year’s induction with LL Cool J when they brought the house down during his induction ceremony. Love that he’s paying a nod to his influences, and now he’s the one in the spotlight, and he influenced so many more.”

    The other rap artists who’ve been honored by the Hall include Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, N.W.A., Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., and Jay-Z. Harris added that Eminem is “the 10th artist to be sort of categorized that way. But you listen to his music, it is as hard hitting and straight ahead as any metal song. It’s right there. It’s a chest punch with a message and with a power and with a rhythm and with a band. We’re thrilled he’s going in — first year of eligibility — it’s a big statement.”

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    Elsewhere in the interview, Harris talked about Dolly Parton, who caused a stir when she tried to withdraw her name from eligibility but who later said she would “accept gratefully” a spot in the Hall. Parton was elected to the class of ’22, and Harris said, “She came to understand that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a much broader universe — that we come from R&B and country, and people like Hank Williams, and bluegrass great Bill Monroe, and Johnny Cash are all in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There’s plenty of songwriters in. Dolly is all that and more.”

    Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Carly Simon, Lionel Richie, and Pat Benatar have also been voted in to the Cleveland Institution, while Judas Priest and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis have been selected for the Rock Hall’s Musical Excellence Award. Check out Harris’ full interview below.

    Rob Halford of Judas Priest called the honor “the blessing we’ve all been waiting for,” while Duran Duran described it as the closest thing to “rock & roll knighthood.” As for Parton, she said, “I guess I’m a rock star now.”

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    Meanwhile, Eminem has continued to collect accolades. Following his performance at the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show, his greatest hits collection Curtain Call resurfaced in the Billboard Top 10, in the process becoming his third Diamond album as the RIAA certified Eminem the most-awarded musician for singles in history.

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