The Future Rock & Roll Hall Of Famers: The 2015 Update

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may not be perfect, but it is currently the only measurable plateau for legends to be immortalized for their contributions to music. Rock and roll started out as very specific genre, but has been stretched and twisted and infused and dissected to the point where the list of inductees highlights every sub-genre from blues to jazz to soul to dance to hip hop to country to metal. Every year since its inception in 1986, the Hall of Fame welcomes around 5 (give or take) acts to its ranks, in addition to early influences (artists that pre-dated rock and roll,) sidemen, and non-performers (songwriters, engineers, producers, disc jockeys, etc.) While it isn’t perfectly clear the qualifications for the latter categories, eligibility for performers begins 25 years after their first release. Every year, more and more acts are finding their way onto the shortlist of nominees, bumping out older acts who just haven’t gotten their due yet. I have compiled a list of acts who aren’t quite eligible yet (some of them will be next year,) but are most likely going to be inducted, should be inducted (even if they likely won’t,) or are on track to eventually earn their place. They are listed in order of their eligibility and ranked on a scale of likelihood of induction from Definite, Good, Fair, and Too Early To Call.

CYPRESS HILL
Eligible: 2016
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: They’re undeniably one of West Coast hip hop’s definitive acts
What holds them back: There are so many hip hop acts ahead of them in the queue

BLUR
Eligible: 2016
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: They are the quintessential Britpop band and remain a critical darling
What holds them back
: They just aren’t quite big enough in the US

HOLE
Eligible: 2016
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: They have undeniable acclaim and influence
What holds them back
: Courtney Love’s existence

ALANIS MORISSETTE
Eligible: 2016
Likelihood: Fair

What gets her in: Jagged Little Pill
What holds her back
: She lost steam with the public just a little too quickly

PEARL JAM
Eligible: 2016
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: They have an overly passionate fan base and they make critics wet themselves
What holds them back
: Nothing. They’re probably going to be rushed in to the Hall of Fame.

SMASHING PUMPKINS
Eligible: 2016
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: They made some of the most important records of their generation
What holds them back
: Nothing. Their hey day was enough to warrant an induction.

2PAC
Eligible: 2016
Likelihood: Definite

What gets him in: Point blank, he is a hip hop god.
What holds him back
: Nothing. With the run around they’ve been giving LL Cool J, he may be the first solo hip hop inductee.

TORI AMOS
Eligible: 2017
Likelihood: Fair

What gets her in: She has continuously been lauded as a performer and a songwriter.
What holds her back
: It’s sad, but she’s lacking a major US hit.

MARY J. BLIGE
Eligible: 2017
Likelihood: Good

What gets her in: She is the undeniable Queen of Hip Hop Soul
What holds her back
: If anything, they just might not consider her a priority

DR. DRE
Eligible: 2017
Likelihood: Definite*

What gets him inThe Chronic, plus production/songwriting credits on some of the most legendary tracks of all time
What holds him back
: He’ll be inducted as a member of NWA first, but that’s pretty much it.
* If he isn’t inducted as a performer, he’ll see an alternative induction, such as the Award for Musical Excellence.

PJ HARVEY
Eligible: 2017
Likelihood: Fair

What gets her in: She has a virtually flawless career, critically speaking
What holds her back
: Outside of her albums, she’s lacking in commercial support

MOBY
Eligible: 2017
Likelihood: Fair

What gets him in: He is one of the most diverse, respected electronic musicians in history
What holds him back
: Will the Hall of Fame actually go for him?

NO DOUBT
Eligible: 2017
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: They have plenty of commercial and critical backing
What holds them back
: Very little, but they may have to wait a while before they get in

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
Eligible: 2017
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: Tom Morello
What holds them back
: Nothing. They may have to wait a couple of rounds, if anything.

TLC
Eligible: 2017
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: They changed the concept of what a “Girl Group” could be
What holds them back
: A slight lack in artistic credibility, and a little too much “pop”

BECK
Eligible: 2018
Likelihood: Definite

What gets him in: Generally speaking, he’s one of the most respected musicians of the last 25 years.
What holds him back
: Nothing.

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
Eligible: 2018
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: Much like KISS and Rush before them, their fans will bully them in.
What holds them back
: If anything, they’re a bit polarizing.

RADIOHEAD
Eligible: 2018
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: They are one of the most important, respected, and successful acts of their generation.
What holds them back
: Nothing. Literally nothing.

SNOOP DOGG
Eligible: 2018
Likelihood: Good

What gets him in: His relationship with Dr. Dre set him on the right path to legendary status in hip hop
What holds him back
: There are some hip hop acts that take precedence over him

WU-TANG CLAN
Eligible: 2018
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: They are undeniably one of hip hop’s most important collectives
What holds them back
: Nothing.

AALIYAH
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Fair

What gets her in: She was on the cusp of becoming one of R&B’s most legendary songstresses
What holds her back
: She passed away just before it happened

JEFF BUCKLEY
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Fair

What gets him in: Grace
What holds him back
: There just wasn’t enough of a career to fill around it

THE FUGEES
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: They may not have been around for very long, but their musical credibility was through the roof.
What holds them back
: Their career was just a little too short

MARILYN MANSON
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: Their combination of industrial metal and shock rock is unparalleled.
What holds them back
: Are they too controversial?

MODEST MOUSE
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: They are undeniable indie heroes with an impressive catalog to back them up. 
What holds them back
: Will the Hall of Fame recognize their importance?

NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Definite

What gets him in: He is one of hip hop’s most important figures with an already-cemented legacy.
What holds him back
: Nothing.

OASIS
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: They have an abundance of critical and commercial backing, and they’re just generally iconic
What holds them back
: Outside of a handful of tracks, they just aren’t quite as legendary stateside

OUTKAST
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: They have one of the most renowned and unique catalogs in hip hop history
What holds them back
: Nothing. They just probably won’t get rushed in.

WEEZER
Eligible: 2019
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: They are universally liked indie rock heroes with a huge fan base and critics firmly in their corner
What holds them back
: Nothing, but a delay is possible

FOO FIGHTERS
Eligible: 2020
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: The Hall of Fame has exemplified their love for Dave Grohl more than enough times to call this a shoe-in
What holds them back
: Nothing.

WILCO
Eligible: 2020
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: They are alternative rock legends with a massive critical backing
What holds them back
: Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of act the Hall of Fame loves to sub

JAY-Z
Eligible: 2021
Likelihood: Definite

What gets him in: Monumental records, critical acclaim, and a sustained relevance that remains unparalleled.
What holds him back
: Nothing. He’ll still be sitting pretty on the charts when he’s inducted.

EMINEM
Eligible: 2021
Likelihood: Definite

What gets him in: He used controversy to his advantage and helped mold hip hop as we know it today.
What holds him back
: Nothing, other than the fact that Jay-Z is technically eligible the same year.

DAFT PUNK
Eligible: 2022
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: They are one of the most important electronic acts to ever exist, period.
What holds them back
: There’s still a bit of fear that the Hall of Fame won’t go for an act like them.

MISSY ELLIOTT
Eligible: 2022
Likelihood: Good

What gets her in: Female or not, she is universally recognized as a monumental figure in hip hop
What holds her back
: Did her flame burn out just a little too early?

SIA
Eligible: 2022
Likelihood: Good*

What gets her in: She has been a driving force behind some of pop’s most successful and acclaimed work 
What holds her back
: Her solo career, while impressive, hasn’t experienced a plethora of recognition
* She will most likely see recognition for her work as a non-performer

LAURYN HILL
Eligible: 2023
Likelihood: Fair*

What gets her inThe Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
What holds her back
: That one album is the entirety of her noteworthy solo career
* If The Fugees get in, a solo induction is likely off the table. The Hall of Fame might opt for an all-encompassing solo induction, but that would be pretty sad for Wyclef.

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
Eligible: 2023*
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: Incredible songwriting, incredible production, and plenty of popularity and acclaim
What holds them back
: Not much, but they might have to take a back seat for a bit
*Yeah of eligibility based on first full release under the name “Queens Of The Stone Age”

COLDPLAY
Eligible: 2024
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: Massive commercial success and tons of critical backing along the way
What holds them back
: Nothing. They don’t have to worry about tarnishing their legacy at this point.

LIL WANYNE
Eligible: 2024
Likelihood: Good

What gets him in: He’s, currently, one of hip hop’s biggest active legends
What holds him back
: He could really be a blip on the radar by the time he’s up for induction

JOHN MAYER
Eligible: 2024
Likelihood: Good

What gets him in: His guitar skills and uncanny ability to find himself surrounded by legends
What holds him back
: His actual career is pretty mediocre

THE WHITE STRIPES
Eligible: 2024
Likelihood: Definite*

What gets them in: Their catalog is, across the board, lauded
What holds them back
: Jack White has so many other projects worthy of recognition
* I wouldn’t rule out an all-encompassing induction for Jack White

RYAN ADAMS
Eligible: 2025
Likelihood: Fair

What gets him in: He’s one of the most prolific musicians of his generation
What holds him back
: He’s managed to somewhat fly under the radar

GORILLAZ
Eligible: 2026
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: Despite the cartoon gimmick, the music has been consistently popular and praised. 
What holds them back
: Who would actually be inducted besides Damon Albarn?

THE STROKES
Eligible: 2026
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them inIs This It?
What holds them back
: …that may have actually been it.

THE BLACK KEYS
Eligible: 2027
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: With a good run of important, successful albums, they’ve cemented their legacy
What holds them back
: They, unfortunately, still have time to get lost in the shuffle.

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
Eligible: 2027
Likelihood: Good

What gets them in: They are widely considered one of greatest acts of their generation
What holds them back
: If they don’t ignite any kind of interest before 2027, they run the risk of falling to the bottom of the pile

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
Eligible: 2027
Likelihood: Good

What gets him in: He is one of pop’s most respected figures, and he has plenty of artistic integrity
What holds him back
: His solo catalog could really use some beefing up

YEAH YEAH YEAHS
Eligible: 2028
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: Mostly their critical acclaim
What holds them back
: It would be way too easy for them to just fizzle out

AMY WINEHOUSE
Eligible: 2028
Likelihood: Good

What gets her in: To be blunt, she passed away before she had the opportunity to tarnish her catalog
What holds her back
: She only managed to produce 2 studio albums, and only 1 of them was widely recognized

ARCADE FIRE
Eligible: 2028
Likelihood: Definite

What gets them in: They really have the midas touch with critics, and a major Grammy upset to prove it
What holds them back
: Nothing. They’ve already done enough to cement their induction.

BEYONCÉ
Eligible: 2028
Likelihood: Definite

What gets her in: As an artist, a vocalist, and a performer, she is unparalleled
What holds her back
: After the release of her Beyoncé album, nothing.

KINGS OF LEON
Eligible: 2028
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: They had just enough critical and commercial attention to put them in the running.
What holds them back
: It may not have been enough

THE KILLERS
Eligible: 2029
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: Their sound came at the right time and they managed to capture everyone’s attention with it
What holds them back
: They’ve yet to fully live up to Hot Fuss

KANYE WEST
Eligible: 2029
Likelihood: Definite

What gets him in: His ability to craft a song is astounding, and he’s seemingly only getting better.
What holds him back
: Nothing. Kanye’s probably already written his acceptance speech.

ARCTIC MONKEYS
Eligible: 2030
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: They have really started to hit their stride in the commercial realm
What holds them back
: If they don’t keep it going, they’ll just be a forgotten snapshot in time

RIHANNA
Eligible: 2030
Likelihood: Fair

What gets her in: She’s one of the most successful pop stars ever, and her catalog is jam packed with impressive material
What holds her back
: She, simply, may not be considered fit for induction

TAYLOR SWIFT
Eligible: 2031
Likelihood: Good

What gets her in: Plenty of critical backing, and the commercial success goes without saying
What holds her back
: Time will tell if she has the ability to transition into a more adult-oriented career

PHARRELL WILLIAMS
Eligible: 2031*
Likelihood: Definite**

What gets him in: He will undoubtedly go down as one of the most important songwriters/producers ever.
What holds him back
: His solo catalog isn’t much, despite his astounding resume
*When is he actually eligible for induction?
**He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame one way or another, but it might not be as a performer.

DRAKE
Eligible: 2032
Likelihood: Fair

What gets him in: He’s doing a fantastic job of stacking his catalog with critical and commercial successes
What holds him back
: Will he stack it high enough to create a legacy worthy of induction? Time will tell.

JANELLE MONÁE
Eligible: 2032
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where she is now: She’s a songwriter, a vocalist, and a performer that is universally appreciated
Where she needs to go
: Acclaimed radio hits will help, but her best bet is going to be cranking out some monumental albums

VAMPIRE WEEKEND
Eligible: 2032
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: They’ve proven themselves enough to have a career worth considering for a future induction into the Hall of Fame
What holds them back
: They could use a few more commercial successes.

ADELE
Eligible: 2033
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where she is now: She has proven that she can dominate, both critically and commercially, with proper music and her talented voice
Where she needs to go
: She needs longevity, both with critics and with the public. There’s too much opportunity for her to slip into oblivion.

LADY GAGA
Eligible: 2033
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where she is now: She is a massive pop star and a respected musician. She made herself a legend, but has proven that she’s not infallible.
Where she needs to go
: Quite simply, she needs more material that was as intriguing and successful as her early work.

FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
Eligible: 2034
Likelihood: Fair

What gets them in: With the release of their third album, they have proven that they are one of this generation’s definitive acts.
What holds them back
: There’s still a chance that they could fizzle out too soon.

KENDRICK LAMAR
Eligible: 2034
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where he is now: He is the most exciting thing to happen to hip hop in a long time
Where he needs to go
: He needs to keep on the path he’s going, but with only 2 albums under his belt, it’s just too early to call.

BRUNO MARS
Eligible: 2035
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where he is now: He has proven his ability to crank out a pop hit, and that he has plenty of musical talent to spare
Where he needs to go
: He needs to make something that’s really going to show off his talents beyond top-40 radio

NICKI MINAJ
Eligible: 2035
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where she is now: She’s got a pop star status, but she never lets us forget how talented of a rapper she is
Where she needs to go
: She needs to keep critics in her corner and make some groundbreaking tracks

ALABAMA SHAKES
Eligible: 2036
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where they are now: Critics have been wetting themselves with their every move, but they’re just a little too new
Where they need to go
: If they continue to rally critics like they have been, the rest will fall into place

ALT-J
Eligible: 2036
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where they are now: They are probably the most unique and interesting alternative act in the world today
Where they need to go
: They need to keep making compelling music that ups their status

J. COLE
Eligible: 2036
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

What he is now: He is one of the best rappers in the game, and he’s seemingly only getting better
What he needs to go
: He needs to make something groundbreaking to make him a legend. Easier said than done.

FRANK OCEAN
Eligible: 2036
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where he is now: With just a little sampling, we know that Frank Ocean is a wildly talented songwriter and musician
Where he needs to go
: He needs to continue to create music that captures audiences the way channel ORANGE did

LANA DEL REY
Eligible: 2037*
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where she is now: She is on the right path to becoming a figure the history books will notate, but she’s not there yet
Where she needs to go
: She needs to make something that really puts her all of the focus on her, and she’ll be there
*Year of eligibility based on her release under the name “Lana Del Rey”

HAIM
Eligible: 2037
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where they are now: They don’t have much under their belt, but they clearly have the talent to go somewhere big
Where they need to go
: As long as they continue to capture the hearts of critics, their fan base is only going to continue to grow and commercial success will be inevitable

THE WEEKND
Eligible: 2037
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where he is now: As of right now, he has officially found the perfect intersection between critical acclaim and commercial recognition.
Where he needs to go
: Honestly, he just needs to keep it up and continue to build an amazing catalog that stands out as unique.

LORDE
Eligible: 2038
Likelihood: Too Early To Call

Where she is now: Despite having only one album under her belt, she is clearly someone special and everyone is in her corner
Where she needs to go
: She needs to continue to make amazing records, regardless of commercial value. That’s how she landed herself in the place she is now.

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