N.W.A Shuts Down Gene Simmons During Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Speech
The Hall of Fame inductees took issue with the Kiss frontman's statement about the "death of hip-hop."
Kiss' Gene Simmons has a lot of opinions — one of them, probably unsurprisingly, is that "rap will die." He recently told Rolling Stone, "I am looking forward to the death of hip-hop," a stance that some rappers naturally took issue with.
Well, during N.W.A's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2016 on Friday, MC Ren shut down Simmons' prediction in no uncertain terms.
"I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip-hop is here forever," said Ren. "We're supposed to be here." While most of the Barclays Center audience responded with cheers, a few sour boos could be heard throughout the venue, either in protest to hip-hop or in Simmons' defense.
Later, in Ice Cube's speech, the rapper explained why, exactly, N.W.A and hip-hop in general belong in the Rock Hall alongside the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.
"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."
For anyone who might still sniff with disdain, Cube pointed out that the real spirit of rock is not to slavishly follow what's been done before, but to forge your own path.
"Rock 'n' roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and life," he added. "That is rock 'n' roll, and that is us."
This article originally appeared on Billboard.com.