Like beauty, the definition of good music is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder. But if you ask Gene Simmons, member of the classic rock band KISS, what constitutes good music, chances are his answer won’t be “rap.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Simmons said, “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 continued.
This isn’t the first time Simmons has voiced disdain for rap music. In 2014, Simmons, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, questioned why some of the greatest legends and pioneers in hip-hop history were receiving Hall of Fame status.
“You’ve got Grandmaster Flash [and the Furious Five] in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-DMC in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me. That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk,” he said.
Although many rap fans would not consider themselves to be “gangsters,” Simmons points out in his recent interview that he doesn’t “have the cultural background to appreciate being a gangster.”
“Of course that’s not what it’s all about, but that’s where it comes from,” he continued. “That’s the heart and soul of it. It came from the streets.”
Yes, rap music started in the streets, but it has since become a worldwide movement enjoyed by people of all backgrounds, from those holding executive positions in the boardroom to those who live a street lifestyle, and everyone in between.
Since rap music is enjoyed by a variety of people and has become intertwined with today’s pop culture, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. But Simmons, however, still sees the genre coming to an end eventually.
“Rap will die,” he assures. “Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy.”