After getting called out by N.W.A. as the group was welcomed into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Gene Simmons argues Ice Cube's belief that hip-hop belongs in the Rock Hall.
On Friday (Apr. 8), N.W.A. was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by Kendrick Lamar. After the group was presented with the honor by its Compton protégé, N.W.A. came up on stage to speak about being the first hip-hop act to ever enter the Rock Hall. During his speech, Ice Cube addressed Gene Simmons, the singer and guitarist in KISS, the band that was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
Last month, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Simmons revealed that he is "looking forward to the death of rap." MC Ren was, in fact, the first person to mention Simmons upon his group's on-stage induction: "And I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons, hip-hop is here forever! Get used to it!" Cube then followed Ren's lead to explain why he feels hip-hop belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
"The question is," Cube began, "Are we Rock 'n' Roll? 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, bebop, soul, rock 'n' roll, R&B, heavy metal, punk rock, and yes, hip-hop."
"Rock 'n' roll is not conforming to the people who came before us, but creating your own path in music and life," he explained. "That is rock 'n' roll to us."
Simmons quickly caught wind of the remarks N.W.A. sent his way, and he took to his Twitter to respond to Ice Cube's argument that hip-hop belongs in the Rock Hall. He tagged Cube in a post that reads, "Respectfully -- let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the hip hop hall of fame. Then you'll have a point."
Simmons' logic is that since there are no rock stars in the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame, then rappers shouldn't be welcomed into the Rock Hall. His argument might be stronger if the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame had anywhere near the level of clout and exposure as that of rock 'n' roll. The Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards began in the early '90s and have maintained a sporadic existence ever since. There is also no Hip Hop Hall of Fame museum, though one is supposed to open later this year in Harlem.
As for Simmons' wishes to see the demise of hip-hop, he'll be long dead and gone before that day ever comes.