The Songwriters Hall of Fame announced its list of nominees for its 2020 class on Tuesday, and it includes a legendary rap act and one of the most successful hip-hop production duos ever.
Both OutKast and The Neptunes, made up of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, have been nominated, along with 22 other acts. According to Billboard, songwriters are eligible for induction after penning hit songs for 20 years or more.
OutKast’s debut album “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” was released in April of 1994, and one of The Neptunes’ earliest production credits is on the group Wreckx N’ Effect’s 1992 album “Hard or Smooth,” which makes both acts eligible.
On June 11, 2020, six songwriters or songwriting groups will be inducted into the Hall at the 51st annual Induction & Awards Gala in New York.
And only certain members can place votes, which they have to do by December 16. They can vote for three non-performing songwriters and three performing songwriters during the process.
Hailing from Virginia Beach, Va., Williams and Hugo — who met in middle school — produced a slew of hits for artists across genres.
Some of them include Jay-Z‘s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me), Nelly’s “Hot In Herre,” Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful,” Kelis’ “Milkshake,” Toni Braxton‘s “Hit the Freeway” and Ludacris‘ “Southern Hospitality.”
Meanwhile, OutKast, made up of the rappers Big Boi and Andre 3000, have been credited for putting Southern hip-hop on the map in terms of global recognition.
They also stood in the very rare space of having massive critical acclaim and commercial success, with all six of their albums reaching at least platinum status (one million albums sold).
But it was their 2003 album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” that shot the group into the pop stratosphere. The LP was nominated for six Grammy Awards and won Album of the Year in 2004.
It’s also the only rap album to win the top trophy since Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in 1999.
Other acts who received nominations for the Songwriters Hall of Fame include the Isley Brothers and Mariah Carey, which is the second time she’s been nominated.
As for The Neptunes and OutKast, if they are among the six acts inducted, they’ll join the other hip-hop artists who’ve made it in. Jay-Z was inducted in 2017, Jermaine Dupri in 2018, and Missy Elliott in 2019.