In October of 2016, the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced that it had nominated Jay Z, Madonna, Babyface, and more to be inducted in 2017. Songwriters are made eligible for the honor after writing popular music for 20 years or more, and Jay Z's debut album Reasonable Doubt was released in 1996, meaning he became eligible last year. Today, Jay Z was announced as an inductee for the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame, making him the first rapper to receive the honor.
"With our 2017 roster of inductees, the Songwriters Hall of Fame moves definitively into recognizing music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honor the greats of earlier decades. The combination of contemporary sounds and timeless hits of the past is certain to make for an unforgettable evening," said aid SHOF co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and President Linda Moran.
With the myriad of exceptional songwriters hip-hop has produced over the past 30 years, it's a bittersweet win for Jay Z to be the first to be recognized in 2017. Hopefully it won't take just as long for other greats within the genre to be recognized. Other 2017 inductees include Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm, Max Martin, and more.
UPDATE 5:46 PM 2/22/17: Jay Z commented on the induction in a rare tweet, saying, "By the way, this is a win for US. I remember when rap was said to be a fad . We are now alongside some of the greatest writers in history."
Photo: Joella Marano / Wikimedia Commons
Follow Noisey on Twitter