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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Michele Norris.

A first today for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It announced the 2007 inductees, and they are…

(Soundbite of song “The One I Love”)

R.E.M. (Musical Group): (Singing) This one goes out to the love.

(Soundbite of song “Be My Baby”)

THE RONETTES (Musical Group): (Singing) Won't you please be my, be my baby. Be my little baby.

(Soundbite of song “Gloria”)

Ms. PATTI SMITH (Singer): (Singing) Gloria. G-L-O-R-I-A.

(Soundbite of song “Jump”)

VAN HALEN (Musical Group): (Singing) Might as well, jump. Jump. Go ahead, jump.

NORRIS: Van Halen, Patti Smith, The Ronettes, R.E.M. and…

(Soundbite of song “The Message”)

This one, it's not like the others. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five is the first rap group to win a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

GRANDMASTER FLASH (Rapper): (Rapping) It's like a jungle sometimes. It makes me wonder how I keep from going under. It's like a jungle sometimes. It makes me wonder how I keep from going under.

NORRIS: For several years now rap luminaries have pushed for the induction of Grandmaster Flash and his five emcees - Kid Creole, Cowboy, Melle Mel, Mr. Ness and Raheem. Grandmaster Flash was one of the first DJs to use turntables as instruments. He pioneered the technique of cutting or scratching with records, sampling other music live to lay rhythm tracts. Here's how he described it to NPR's Terry Gross in 2002.

(Soundbite of previous NPR broadcast)

GRANDMASTER FLASH: I can take the most exciting part of a record, which we call the break. Taking duplicate copies of the record with two turntables and a mixer, I can extend that five or 10-second part seamlessly, make it 10 minutes if I wanted to.

(Soundbite of song “The Message”)

GRANDMASTER FLASH: (Rapping) Push me, cause I'm close to the edge. I'm trying…

NORRIS: Mainstream acceptance did not come easy for Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. In 1981, they opened in New York for the rock group The Clash. The audience pelted them with cups and cans and they fled the stage.

Now more than a quarter century later, in Hall of Fames terms, rap has come of age.

(Soundbite of song “The Message”)

GRANDMASTER FLASH: (Rapping) It's like a jungle sometimes. It make me wonder how I keep from going under. It's like a jungle sometimes…

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