Grandmaster Flash, MC Lyte, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and Universal Music Group general counsel Jeffrey Harleston will be among this year’s RIAA honorees to celebrate their new headquarters in Washington D.C.
“I don’t think there has ever been a time in music history when the influence of hip-hop has been more evident…. Streaming is the biggest revenue generator for the industry, and hip-hop accounts for a huge percentage of those streams,” said RIAA chairman/CEO Mitch Glazier to Billboard. In light of Hip-Hop’s dominance, Glazier feels “now is exactly the right time to look back” to celebrate rap’s pioneers.
“It’s an honor to be recognized, but also to be in great company with artists that have touched millions of fans as I have in my career. We artists do this to touch our fans, and the RIAA makes sure it’s counted,” shared Grandmaster Flash.
On MC Lyte, Glazier considered the Lyte as a Rock rapper “was an innovator in the art of singles and collaborations and made sure that collaboration in the hip-hop community was the key element of the art going forward.” He added, “She has also evolved into all aspects of hip-hop, not just being an MC but also in fashion, acting, art, and other parts of the culture.”
She chimed in, stating, “It is an amazing honor to receive such an acknowledgment from the RIAA. They’ve watched my maturation from adolescence into adulthood and witnessed every musical release. I’m excited and inspired to do more, and thank you to the RIAA for recognizing me and the body of work I’ve created with an amazing and talented group of music makers.”
The RIAA Honors returns after being postponed for two years and takes place on Sept. 14 at the new RIAA headquarters on F Street NW at the East End of Washington, D.C. They’ve also partnered with the National Museum of African American Music to create content with the National Recording Registry in conjunction with the RIAA Honors, including coverage on the museum’s podcast The State of Black Music. Video interviews will also be conducted to tell the story of its pioneers for the Library of Congress.
Watch Grandmaster Flash trace the roots of Hip-Hop below.