KISS’ Gene Simmons Called Out for Rap Criticism By N.W.A. in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Speech
KISS icon Gene Simmons has been a noted critic of rap and hip-hop over the years. The bassist was recently quoted as saying "rap will die," which seemingly incensed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees N.W.A. While accepting their award, the infamous group took the opportunity to stand in the face of Simmons' words.
"I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip-hop is here forever — get used to it," exclaimed MC Ren when thanking all the groups that came before N.W.A. and laid the blueprint for their success. Next, Ice Cube took the mic as it was his turn to deliver his acceptance speech. "The question is, 'Are we rock 'n' roll?' and I say 'You g--damn right we rock 'n' roll!' Rock 'n' roll is not an instrument — rock 'n' roll is not even a style of music. Rock 'n' roll is a spirit! A spirit that's been going since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, R&B, rock 'n' roll, heavy metal, punk rock, and, yes, hip-hop!"
Ice Cube went on to note how all acts are interconnected, adding, "And what connects us all is that spirit — that's what connects us all is that spirit. Rock 'n' roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and life. That is rock 'n' roll and that is us. Rock 'n' roll is not conforming, rock 'n' roll is outside the box and rock 'n' roll is N.W.A."
In March earlier this year, Simmons told Rolling Stone, “I am looking forward to the death of rap. I’m looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking. A song, as far as I’m concerned, is by definition lyric and melody … or just melody.” Continuing, the bass player added, “Rap will die. Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy.”
N.W.A. were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yesterday (April 8) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. alongside Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller and Chicago. Their 1988 debut record, Straight Outta Compton, has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA and was one of the most pivotal releases to grace the hip-hop genre, creating an immediate sense of danger that saw the group mired in controversy for their vivid and violent portrayal of gang activities and racism.
KISS recently announced the 'Freedom to Rock' tour which will span a whopping two months. For a full list of tour dates, head to our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.
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