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Read Chris Rock’s Complete Rock Hall Induction Speech for the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Chris Rock
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Comedian Chris Rock was gracious and funny in his expletive-laden speech on Saturday as he welcomed the Red Hot Chili Peppers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though he may have seemed like an odd choice to induct the band, Rock is friends with the Peppers and directed their 2006 music video ‘Hump de Bump.’

Rock first took a shot at Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses, who boycotted the event, joking, “Axl did not come tonight, but even if he was coming tonight, he wouldn’t have been here by now.” Then, he told the story of how he discovered the band’s music and how they combined all of their influences into a brand new sound. Rock closed with a nod to the Chili Peppers’ musical versatility, calling them “one of the best rock groups, one of the best rap groups, one of the best reggae groups, one of the best ska groups.”

Here’s the complete text of Chris Rock’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

All right, now this is the last one of the night so lets give a big hand for all the groups and everybody out there tonight. Everybody was amazing. First the Beasties, I want to thank them for inspiring a lot of great white rappers like Eminem and a lot of sh–ty white rappers too numerous to mention right now. And Axl did not come tonight but even if he was coming tonight, he wouldn’t have been here by now. Like where the f— is Axl?

So, I’m presenting the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Why me? because AC Green was busy, I guess. They asked me to do this and it’s a huge honor. Let me tell you about the first time I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now, my friends and I liked drugs a lot and so when we went out we had to get to the party really early so if we didn’t go early we were going to spend our money getting high. So we went to this party and we thought we were going to see Grand Master Flash and the Village and we went to see Flash we got there at 8 and we were like, ‘OK this is cool we didn’t spend our money getting high.’ We were going to see Flash but we went, we f—ed up, and Flash was down the block and we went to this other spot and we went to see the Chili Peppers. We didn’t know we were there to see the Chili Peppers until later in the evening when we started to see all these white people. Then we were like, ‘What the f— is this shit?’ There’s a lot of white people coming to see Flash!

We’ve never heard of the Chili Peppers, they came out and they sang some s—, I couldn’t understand a f—ing word they said and then they had socks on their d—s. And I’ve never been to a white show before so I thought all the white groups put socks on their d—s. Now years later, they’re one of the biggest groups in the world, they’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, now they have black ties on their d—s tonight.

Now I’ll tell you about the group, Flea and Anthony met in high school, or as they’d like to call it, “really high school.” Hey, hey, hey there are no monks in this band! There’s no monks in this band! OK? And they started creating songs at an early age. Man, lots of songs that never came out before like ‘Jerkin’ off to Farrah Fawcett,’ you know, stuff like that. But let me tell you about the Chili Peppers, OK? If Ryan Wilson and George Clinton had a kid he’d be as ugly as f— but he would sound like the Chili Peppers. He’d be f—ing gay. OK?

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the quintessential California band. Their sound is anthemic in California, much like the Mamas and the Papas, the Jan and Dean or the Beach Boys, but also they mix it in with a little Ice T and a little King T, a little N.W.A. You hear all of those influences in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, OK? The thing I love about the Peppers is that the music is so happy but at the same time it’s hardcore, it’s hardcore happiness okay. Cause you know, they sing about a happy that you have to be sad to get there. So when Anthony sings about taking it on the other side, you know that motherf—er was on the other side. When they sing ‘Scar Tissue,’ you know they got scars, OK? OK, they got scars they hate. They’re like Robert Downey, they do a lot of drugs, but then they they do ‘Iron Man’ and that s—’s over. No one gives a f— about that s—, OK? OK?

Now I’d like to, you know, list some of their accomplishments right now. They have, I don’t know, 8 Grammys, they are the baddest live band in the world. They have over 85 million records sold. OK, sold out stadiums. They have influenced countless bands from all over the world. I want you to please welcome one of the best rock groups, one of the best rap groups, one of the best reggae groups, one of the best ska groups. It is my pleasure to introduce and induct into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Anthony Keidis, Michael Balzary, Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer.

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