Eminem Honors His Hip Hop Predecessors During Rock Hall of Fame Induction—“Those Were My Rock Stars”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Like Run DMC, Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls, and a handful of other rappers that have earned a spot at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, news of Eminem’s induction was met with mixed opinions. Nevertheless, Eminem took the stage Saturday night (Nov. 5) to accept his induction and spent his speech honoring those that came before him in the hip-hop camp.

The rapper opened up his acceptance speech by acknowledging that there were “a couple of reasons” he wasn’t actually supposed to be there. He said, “One, I know that I’m a rapper, and this is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and there’s only a few of us right now who have been inducted in already. Secondly, I almost died from an overdose in 2007, which kind of sucked because—Hailie, plug your ears—because drugs were fucking delicious”

Dr. Dre presents an award to Inductee Eminem while Mr. Porter oversees on stage during the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on November 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

The rest of his speech saw him rattle off a laundry list of fellow rappers – from cult figures to chart-topping artists – that inspired his own journey in the genre. “Those were my rock stars, man,” he said.

He continued, “My musical influences, when they say it takes a village to raise a child, well it took a whole genre and culture to raise me. They say success has many fathers, and that’s definitely true for me. So whatever my impact has been on hip-hop music, I never would’ve, or could’ve, done this shit without some of the groundbreaking artists I’m about to mention.”

Among the list were 2 Live Crew, Tupac, Third Bass, the Alliance, Apache, Audio Two, Milk Dee, Awesome Dre, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Big Pun, Big L, Biz Markee, the Notorious B.I.G., Redman, Roxanne Shante, Run-D.M.C., Salt-N-Pepa, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh.

After completing his list, Em added, “I just want to say those are just a few of the names that I hope will be considered in the future for induction. Because without them, a lot of us wouldn’t be here. I know I wouldn’t. So, that’s all I have to say, man. I know this induction is supposed to be me talking about myself and shit, man, but fuck that. I would not be here without them. I’m a high school dropout, man, with a hip-hop education, and these were my teachers. And it’s their night, just as much as it is mine. So thank you.”

Eminem earned his spot in the Hall in his first year of eligibility. This year, the rapper also celebrates the 20th anniversary of his fourth studio album, The Eminem Show. Among the record are singles “Without Me” and “Cleanin’ Out My Closet.”

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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