Hip-hop has proved itself as a force to be reckoned with over the course of nearly 40 years. While embraced by many facets of mainstream media and popular culture, rap was once shunned and looked at as inferior by other musical genres, with many taking jabs at the artform as a whole.

Initially writing it off as a fad, time would show that rap music was indeed worthy of the same accolades and respect as genres like rock, country, R&B and other musical formats with a number of rap albums and songs slowly bridging the gap between hip-hop and the rest of the musical world. Today, unlike in the 1990s when Aerosmith got busy alongside three guys from Hollis, Queens, it's not unusual to see a rocker and a rhymer together on a song, not to mention a rap artist paying homage to artists outside of hip-hop as well.

One institution that has come around to hip-hop in a big way has been the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Established in 1983, and located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was created by Atlantic Records founder and chairmen Ahmet Ertergun. The Hall is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have left a lasting impression on the music industry.

With icons like Elvis Presley, James Brown, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin, among the many legends inducted, it was only right that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame open its doors to the rap artists and hip-hop figures that have also helped change the face of music. Check out the hip-hop representatives who have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame above.