Gene Simmons of Kiss isn’t the king of rock ‘n’ roll, but his recent comments on what doesn’t qualify as rock have chilled Ice Cube and others.

Ice Cube. Photo by Adam Bielawski via Wikimedia Commons
After telling Rolling Stone that he’s “looking forward to the death of hip-hop” and earlier suggesting that Grandmaster Flash and Run-D.M.C. don’t belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (“They sample and they talk. Not even sing”), Simmons had even more to say after N.W.A. gained rock Hall of Fame status.

In an acceptance speech, Ice Cube said: “The question is, ‘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.”

To which Simmons replied:

A Yahoo music writer noted:

“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.”

On Monday, Simmons added:

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