KISS frontman Gene Simmons upset a lot of the hip hop community with his comments about how hip hop artists should not be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and wanting the genre to die. He first had a Twitter war with Talib Kweli over the controversy, and now it’s Ice Cube.
The disagreement began last week when NWA was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Chicago, Steve Miller and Bert Berns. The group must have caught wind of what Simmons said earlier about his disdain for hip hop, because as they were accepting the award, MC Ren and Ice Cube had a few choice words about the rocker’s comments. Simmons later responded via Twitter, writing “Respectfully let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame. Then you’ll have a point.”
Ice Cube then tweeted back, “Who stole the soul? Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Chubby Checkers help invent Rock n Roll. We invent it. Y’all reprint it.”
Simmons then added, “I stand by my words. Respect NWA, but when [Led Zeppelin] gets into Rap Hall of Fame, I will agree with your point.”
Simmons had said in an interview with 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… 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.”
He also said, “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.”
At the Hall of Fame ceremony, MC Ren had said, “I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip hop is here forever. We’re supposed to be here.”
Ice Cube then added, “The question is, ‘Are we rock and roll? And I say you goddamn right we rock ‘n’ roll. Rock and roll is not an instrument. It’s not even a style of music. It’s a spirit that’s been going on since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, heavy metal, punk rock, and yes, hip hop.”
What do you think? Should hip hop artists be able to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?