N.W.A. accomplished a major feat last week when the surviving members of the Compton-based hip-hop group celebrated their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The monumentous moment, however, was in some ways spoiled when Kiss leader Gene Simmons implied the rappers weren’t deserving of the honor.
The rock band’s frontman recently told Rolling Stone he was in fact anticipating the death of hip-hop.
“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.”
When the group heard Simmons’s opinion that rap should die, they took a few moments on the Hall of Fame stage to address the hatred.
“I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip-hop is here forever,” MC Ren said. “Get used to it.”
Not known for keeping quiet on matters that deserve a note, Ice Cube grabbed the mic and let his voice be heard.
“The question is, ‘Are we not rock ‘n’ roll’?,” The Barbershop 3: The Next Cut actor asked.
“And I say, you goddamn right we are 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.”
Simmons later went to Twitter to fire a shot back at Ice Cube saying that once Jimi Hendrix is inducted in the hip-hop hall of fame, their debate will be forgiven.
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) April 9, 2016