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Gene Simmons Fires Back at N.W.A. After Band’s Comments at Rock Hall Induction

Gene Simmons
Kathy Flynn,

Gene Simmons has a documented history of speaking ill towards rap and hip-hop, most recently stating that he is “looking forward to the death of rap.” Influential hip-hop icons N.W.A. were set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the band parried Simmons’ statement, firing back at him directly in their acceptance speech at the ceremony last Friday (April 8). Now, the KISS legend has heard their words and returned fire.

Posting on Twitter, Simmons took aim at Ice Cube, stating “Respectfully– let me know when Jimi Hendrix gets into the hip hop hall of fame. Then you’ll have a point.”

N.W.A. took turns at the mic, giving thanks to all those who helped the act along their rise to stardom as well as attempting to silence their critics. MC Ren exclaimed, “I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip-hop is here forever — get used to it,” in response to the bassist’s aforementioned comments. Ice Cube followed MC Ren, justifying N.W.A.’s place in the Rock Hall adding, “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!”

In March earlier this year, Simmons offered his thoughts on rap and hip-hop to Rolling Stone, stating, “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.” He went on to list hits that predominantly featured talking, but chalked them up to being novelty tunes. Circling back to rap, he 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.”

KISS will be hitting the road this summer on the ‘Freedom to Rock’ U.S. tour, which is slated to begin July 7 and will run all the way through Sept. 10. For a full list of stops, head to our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

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