The Recording Industry Association of America will recognize artists, label executives, and policymakers at the RIAA Honors: Pioneers of Hip Hop celebration.
The RIAA is set to acknowledge Grandmaster Flash, MC Lyte, Hakeem Jeffries, and Jeff Harleston for their contributions to American music, culture, and society. Stupid Fly and the National Museum of African American Music are also co-hosting the event.
“At this year’s RIAA Honors, we are thrilled to celebrate pioneers who have defied obstacles, defined a genre, and accelerated the growth of Hip Hop to audiences across generations and geography,” states Mitch Glazier, RIAA Chairman/CEO.
Glazier adds, “Congratulations and thank you, Grandmaster Flash, MC Lyte, Jeff Harleston, and Chairman Hakeem Jeffries for your contributions to this diverse musical landscape, and setting the stage for creators to come.”
The RIAA’s Four Honorees Have All Contributed To Hip Hop Culture
Hip Hop historians widely credit Grandmaster Flash as one of the original innovators of the genre. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first rap group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Legendary lyricist MC Lyte became a professional recording artist as a teenager. The Brooklyn native became the first female rapper to receive a Gold Award (500,000 units) from the RIAA. Lyte was also the first female solo rapper nominated for a Grammy Award.
New York Representative Hakim Jeffries (D-NY-08) is the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. The politician/attorney reportedly played a key role in crafting the Music Modernization Act. That 2018 legislation reformed American copyright laws to include digital streaming.
Jeff Harleston serves as the General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for Universal Music Group. The 30-year music industry veteran received the Recording Academy’s 2020 Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award.
The Recording Industry Association of America’s 2022 RIAA Honors: Pioneers of Hip Hop event will take place on September 14 in Washington, DC. Organizers will announce performers, presenters, and other special guests in the coming weeks.