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KISS bassist and co-lead singer Gene Simmons is no stranger to controversial comments. He's gone off on everything from depression and suicide to women's role in society, and often had to apologize after the fact. Now, his latest target is hip-hop music. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Simmons went off on the entire genre. "I am looking forward to the death of rap," he said. "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."
After being given a chance to walk back on his statement, Simmons doubled down instead. "Rap will die," he predicted. "Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy." When asked whether he likes the genre at all, he gave another tough answer. "I don't have the cultural background to appreciate being a gangster," he said. "Of course that's not what it's all about, but that's where it comes from. That's the heart and soul of it. It came from the streets."
These comments, while sad, are hardly surprising. Back in 2014, Simmons expressed disappointment that hip-hop groups were being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "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," he told Radio.com at the time. "That doesn't mean those aren't good artists. But they don't play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing."