Legendary rap and hip-hop group N.W.A. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week, and while accepting the honour, group member MC Ren said, “I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons: Hip-hop is here forever. Get used to it.”
MC Ren was responding to the KISS lead singer’s comment to Rolling Stone magazine from many weeks ago — the original remark that started the whole argument.
“I am looking forward to the death of rap,” said Simmons. “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 also said “You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-D.M.C. 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. Not even sing.”
N.W.A. member Ice Cube also had some choice words to silence Simmons during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
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“The question is, ‘Are we rock ‘n’ roll?'” he said to the crowd. “And I say — you goddamn right we rock ‘n’ roll. Rock ‘n’ 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, be-bop, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, heavy metal, punk rock, and yes, hip-hop.”
Simmons was quick to respond on Twitter after the Hall of Fame induction, continuing his argument.
Simmons’s comments have an indisputable racial bent, even though the Hall of Fame has never discriminated based on race or music type, considering all forms of music as potential inductees. While guitarist and musician Hendrix isn’t in the Hall of Fame, other black artists are, including Aretha Franklin, B.B. King and Marvin Gaye. Blues master Robert Johnson and the soul man James Brown have also been inducted in the past.