Cases for/against the 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame noms



The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their batch of 2016 nominations earlier today, giving baby boomers their annual chance to glance backward in time and assess which defining moments in rock history they’re still not entirely comfortable with.

Since this particular pageant has allegedly become even more one-sided in recent years, offering up thoughts over these industry-aligned nods is a silly pursuit. So here are ours.


Case for: Public Enemy notwithstanding, the current hip-hop inductees are all defanged enough to still be played at most Bible Belt wedding receptions.

Case against: This year’s selectively scripted Straight Outta Compton biopic reminded everyone that the world still hasn’t forgotten about the rap crew's gross misogyny, and we haven’t forgotten about how we don’t want to read thirty think pieces about it next April.


Case for: Their logo is instantly recognizable!

Case against: Their sound is instantly forgettable!

Cheap Trick

Case for: “I Want You To Want Me” is timeless and perfect.

Case against: It’s well known that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s existence is all staked upon convincing the world that Cleveland is its region’s cultural epicenter. You can’t go giving awards out to bands from Rockford, Illinois, and expect that charade to last.

The Cars

Case for: Not unlike prior inductees Aerosmith, it’s helpful to remind the nation that Boston isn’t as shitty toward effeminate men as Southie culture would lead us to believe.

Case against: That sort of '50s nostalgia by way of the '80s could be confusing to the induction ceremony’s handful of younger viewers.

Deep Purple

Case for: Because the next century’s worth of inductees started their artistry by learning Deep Purple’s simple-ass songs.

Case against: Marijuana’s out for 2016 and embalming fluid is in. Come on, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We thought you were hip.

Steve Miller

Case for: Your fun Uncle Frank loves Steve Miller! You love your fun Uncle Frank, don’t ya?

Case against: Steve Miller Band sucks.

Nine Inch Nails

Case for: Trent Reznor popularized a form of self-flagellating rock that — unlike most of the nominees — actually broke new ground.

Case against: Reznor’s pasty-ass probably still isn’t white enough for the induction committee.


Case for: Yes.

Case against: No.

Chaka Khan

Case for: Wikipedia says she’s the Queen of Funk. Sounds award-worthy to us.

Case against: Janet Jackson and Chic are nominated, so even suggesting her addition to the Hall of Fame is going to have to suffice as the award.


Case for: Nile Rodgers’ singular percussive guitar work has been celebrating a renaissance since Daft Punk showcased his production talents to a younger generation back in 2013 on Random Access Memories. His contributions are vast, and the award would be timely.

Case against: Unfortunately, Chic’s catalogue is kind of crap.

The Smiths

Case for: Depressive, jangly catalog provides legit music-geek cred.

Case against: HOF cafe probably serves meat.

Janet Jackson

Case for: The one other Jackson that father Joe was able to successfully break down and build back up into a literal tour de force, Miss Jackson (cuz I’m nasty) advanced the simmering empowerment of disco’s female artists and brought it to a full-blown boil.

Case against: Does the Hall of Fame really need a living Jackson?

The J.B.’s

Case for: The J.B.’s — who took over as James Brown’s backing band after his longtime players walked out over pay — would act as a wonderful reminder to contemporary artists that musicians have always been paid shit.

Case against: So are we just supposed to nominate new players every time some hothead artist fires their band over pay? Use your head, voters.

Los Lobos

Case for: They’ve sold a buttload of records.

Case against: Their one hit is a cover of “La Bamba,” which are the two words in all of their discography that voters are capable of singing along to.

The Spinners

Case for: They’re the oldest nominees, so they’ve already got that museum-y smell.

Case against: Detroit’s had it too good for too long. Enough is enough.