Kendrick Lamar Shares Riveting N.W.A Tribute At Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction

Friday night (Apr. 8) was an evening to remember for the members of N.W.A. The groundbreaking rap collective received the honor of being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and before their emotive speech, one of their longtime fans gave an impassioned tribute.

Grammy Award-winning artist Kendrick Lamar took center stage at the Barclays Center to highlight the “Straight Outta Compton” group’s distinction at the 31st annual ceremony.

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“The fact that a famous group can look just like one of us and dress like one of us, talk like one of us, proved to every single kid in the ghetto that you can be successful,” the “Alright” rapper said.

He also spoke on the late Eazy-E’s legacy, stating that he gained a newfound pride of hailing from Compton because of the fallen rapper. “He was a true mastermind, his persona was unmatched, his high pitched tone spoke to nations across the globe,” he said. “He’s the reason I’m proud to say I’m from Compton.”

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Toward the end of his public passage, Lamar said N.W.A redefined what is means to be gangster, pointing to their business strides that transcend beyond rap. “Being gangster is partnering with the biggest tech companies and launching groundbreaking music on a whole other platform,” he said. “So now after 30 years of being heard, being gangster is being inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”

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Once it was time for N.W.A to give their speech, MC Ren also had a few curt words for KISS member Gene Simmons — who’s against hip-hop artists receiving a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — to let him know the genre will still continue to live on. “Mr. Gene Simmons, hip-hop is here forever! Get used to it!” he roaringly said.

Watch the speeches below.