“I want to say, to Mr. Gene Simmons, hip-hop is here forever,” forever,” MC Ren said. “Get used to it.“
Gene Simmons of KISS is not impressed with N.W.A.’s recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, earlier in April.
“I am looking forward to the death of rap,” stated Simmons. “I’m looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking.”
To further defend his stance on music being about melody and lyrics, Simmons said,
NWA is the fifth hip-hop group to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after The Beastie Boys, Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy and Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.
Ice Cube himself defended hip-hop music and redefined rock and roll altogether as “a spirit. N.W.A is probably more rock & roll than a lot of the people that he thinks belong there over hip-hop.”
The latter went on to say that he has met Simmons and has “a lot of respect” for him, “but I just think he’s wrong on this.”
Nonetheless, the feud continued over Twitter. Simmons stated, “Respectfully let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame. Then you’ll have a point.” Clearly, Simmons is still a hardcore believer in genres, and draws a line between rock and hip-hop.
Another member of N.W.A., rapper MC Ren retorted in response, stating that Simmons does not have the authority to look down on N.W.A. when others in his time looked down on KISS as a real rock band.
MC-Ren further stated that Simmons’ acrimony is due to hip-hop groups being inducted into the Hall before KISS was even close to coming into the picture.
Falling into the feud, recently, was guitarist Tom Morello, after being asked his opinion of the rock and hip-hop dilemma by Simmons himself. Given the former’s rap-rock background after playing in Rage Against the Machine, Morello has the best of both worlds to speak against genre categorisation. “I think genre is basically meaningless and that people should just follow their muse.”
While NWA are far from the defined sound and look of loud guitars and leathers, their message is much more socially grounded than many of their contemporaries in the Hall. In “F— Tha Police,” the group bring to light the racial profiling and police brutality towards the black community.
Aside from his controversial stance on hip-hop, Simmons was also recently criticised for his comments on Prince’s death, for which he has since apologised. Of the musician’s death, Simmons had stated, “But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you… but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”
As for the recent projects of N.W.A., Morello, and Simmons; Morello recently received an award from WhyHunger?, an organisation that works to diminish poverty and give every person availability to food.
KISS have also recently released a film of their live performance in Las Vegas in 2014. Titled Kiss Rocks Vegas, the film is only available in select US cinemas and features exclusive interviews that will only be made privy to cinema audiences.
N.W.A. also recently reunited at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E’s son, Young E, delivered a stellar performance at the festival and were also joined by Kendrick Lamar. Watch N.W.A. and Lamar bring the house down below.