Well that didn’t take very long. Just two days after N.W.A was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where Ice Cube blasted Gene Simmons’ claim that the group didn’t belong in the institution because they weren’t in fact rock and roll and the Kiss bassist has offered a response. “Let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the hip hop hall of fame” he wrote today on Twitter. “Then youll have a point.”
Setting aside the fact that a hip hop hall of fame doesn’t exist. the assertion itself is actually baseless. Take a look at the names included in the Rock Hall’s very first induction class and you’ll find blues master Robert Johnson, country innovator Jimmie Rodgers, and the “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” the “King of Soul” Mr. James Brown. Oh, and the year after that they inducted Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, and Marvin Gaye. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has never, in its entire history, limited itself to purely “rock” acts.
This entire exchange kicked off a few weeks back when Simmons stated a few weeks back in an interview with Rolling Stone that, “I am looking forward to the death of hip-hop.” And that’s after an earlier statement when he 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.”
Like Ice Cube said in his speech, ‘The question is, ‘Are we rock ‘n’ roll?'” Cube asked 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, bebop, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, heavy metal, punk rock, and yes, hip-hop.”