KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has responded to Ice Cube's declaration during N.W.A.'s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction Friday that the rap act belongs in the institution.
'The question is, 'Are we rock 'n' roll?'" Cube asked the crowd as the seminal gangster rap group made their acceptance speeches. "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 you, but creating your own path in music and life. That is rock 'n' roll and that is us."
But on Saturday, Simmons tweeted his disapproval, asking the rapper to let him know when Jimi Hendrix will be inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame.
Simmons tweeted a link to the BLABBERMOUTH.NET story on Cube's Rock Hall comments and wrote: "Respectfully-- let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the hip hop hall of fame. Then youll have a point. @icecube"
Simmons originally took issue with hip-hop acts — and other non-rock artists — being inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame during a 2014 interview with Radio.com. He stated at the time: "It's really back-room politics, like Boss Tweed. A few people decide what's in and what's not. And the masses just scratch their heads. 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!"
He continued: "If you asked Donna [Summer], 'What kind of artist are you?', do you think she would say 'rock?' If you asked Madonna, 'What kind of artist are you?' do you think she would say, 'Oh, rock!' So what they hell are they doing in the Hall Of Fame? They can run their organization any way they'd like, but it ain't rock! It just isn't! If you don't play guitar and you don't write your own songs, you don't belong there."
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Simmons predicted that rap would soon die out, and he'll be the first one to dance on its grave.
"Rap will die. Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along," he told the magazine. "And all that is good and healthy. 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."
Cube's N.W.A. bandmate MC Ren responded to Simmons during his Rock Hall acceptance speech. He said: "Mr. Gene Simmons, hip-hop is here forever! Get used to it!"