After receiving a nomination in October, Jay Z has become the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, with Niles Rodgers appearing on CBS This Morning on Wednesday (Feb. 22) to announce the honorees. Joining Jay on the list of 2017 inductees are Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, members of the group Chicago and Max Martin.
Rodgers says below that because hip-hop didn’t conform to previous conventions, it has taken time for the genre to be appropriately recognized. “But the truth is, the revolutionary people who come up with the next level of classical music are always the ones that go ‘Hmm, can I do this?’ and you do it. So Jay Z was in a space where even though he’s had more pop albums than anyone else, he did it through rap, which is not traditionally considered part of the normal pop music scene,” he says.
As for how Jay has impacted music, a graphic displays some of his statistics — 21 Grammys won, over 100 million records sold — with Rodgers calling his contributions massive. “He has changed the way that we listen to music. He’s changed the way that we have fun. He’s changed the way that we cry,” he says.
The new songwriters will be inducted on June 15, with clips from the CBS This Morning announcement included below. Hov keeps shining, the inductee announcement coming on the heels of news that he is launching a venture capital fund.