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Five decades of pop music history — along with a bit of hip-hop controversy — passed through the stage of the Barclays Center on Friday night for the 31st annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The night celebrated hard rockers (Deep Purple), horn rockers (Chicago), and rap (N.W.A). Cheap Trick represented the garage rock era while inductee Steve Miller’s passage through Chicago blues clubs and San Francisco psychedelia before he became a multiplatinum selling stadium filler in the mid-1970s makes him a one-man rock encyclopedia. Among the people Miller thanked was his godfather, guitar legend Les Paul. Miller said he was a 5-year-old when he learned his first chords from Paul.

Throughout the night, the inductees’ introductions recounted the hard work, persistence and durability of each act despite deaths, disputes and personnel changes. The groups all performed with a studio like slickness undoubtedly honed by years of constant touring that continues today. N.W.A — which broke up in 1991 — only reunited to accept its award.

But N.W.A co-founder Ice Cube delivered the most stirring statement of the night in response to the suggestion from rock traditionalists that the groundbreaking group from Compton was too far outside the genre to deserve its honor.

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