CORRECTION NOTE: We missed one woman in our original count; this blog has been updated accordingly. The correction did not change the overall projections. I worry that my readers are tired of hearing me complain about a certain Cleveland institution. I know I am wearied by complaining. So this year, I thought that I would pass the mic to my research assistant, Tyler Roland. My LMU student assistants help me crunch the numbers every year. This time Tyler–a guitar player, music lover, and writer himself–also throws down some words. According to our calculations, women–including Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, and Cyndi Lauper–make up a paltry, not-even-token 14.63 percent of this year’s nominated individuals. People of color account for 34.15 percent. The only thing that I would add to Tyler’s argument is that I am thrilled and relieved that Missy Elliott is on the list (and also personally excited about Joy Division/New Order.) If Elliott doesn’t get inducted, well, then you will all be getting quite the earful from me in a few months.
The Rock & Roll Hall of
Lame Fame has once again proven their inept handling of the rock and roll genre with their announcement of nominees for this year. Just a quick glance at the list (and inductees from years past – take just a year ago, for instance) reveals just how seismic the shift is needed in annual inductions for there to be even a meaningful number of POC and, especially, women, in their ranks. Women that are POC? Forget it – this year, out of the 41 nominations, one is a black woman – Missy Elliott. That’s 2.44%. Please.
Further stats make for further depressive reading. Iron Maiden’s a great group, but do we really need all nine of its white guys in the hall? I suppose there’s some BS technicality that lets that happen, but they alone make up 21.95% of the potential class.
I hear you begging for the best-case scenarios. What if only the women got in, and no acts with any male presence got the nod? Well…
The hall overall would turn 8.93% feminine. As it stands, the hall is 8.56% female. Again – a seismic, Richter-level shift is needed to get the hall into some more respectable territory. An RRHOF with 20 or 25% women just ain’t happening.
The situation is a little better with POC, but that is saying little. We’ll play the what-if game with only acts featuring POC. The Rock Hall is currently 31.79% nonwhite. The same logic we used earlier would mean the hall would turn a whopping 32.76% nonwhite. Still shameful.
The above scenario would also mean that the Rock Hall would remain mostly women-free, with the 2023 class making it 8.57% women. If only feminine acts got in this year, the hall would be 32.03% POC.
So, the Schlock and Bull Hall of…okay, you get it. Though some decent acts could be getting the shout-out they deserve in 2023 (see: Kate Bush, A Tribe Called Quest), the whole establishment, like the GRAMMYs, is still far from representing quality music, and the artists that produce it, as a whole. Crank up those acts that deserve more respect from a tired, old, pale-as-a-sheet corporation in Cleveland…that means more than this place ever will. — Tyler Roland