Talib Kweli Fires Back At Kiss Bassist Gene Simmons’ “Death of Rap” Comments

Hip-hop is one of the most prominent genres in the contemporary music world. Its influence is unparalleled and since it’s inception in the 1970s, it has gone from strength to strength as an artistic medium. However, one prominent musician seems to think that hip hop’s influence is rather benign, in fact, that it would eventually go away.

Gene Simmons, otherwise known as the bass guitarist and co-lead singer of Kiss, made some pretty inflammatory comments in an interview with Rolling Stone, entitled “Gene Simmons Skewers Pop Charts, Is ‘Looking Forward to Death of Rap,” in which he, yes, explicitly states, “I am looking forward to the death of rap.”

“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,” he adds.

Continuing to assert his rather controversial stance on the matter, Simmons adds: ”Rap will die… Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy.”

Simmons, ever the expert, revealed to countless disillusioned hip-hop heads out there that rap is “just talking.” He goes onto to say that he doesn’t have the cultural background to appreciate being a ‘gangster’ because rap comes from the streets.

“A song, as far as I’m concerned, is by definition lyric and melody … or just melody,” he says.

Oddly enough EDM seemed to gain a seal approval in Simmons eyes. “EDM is honest. EDM says, ‘Here’s a guy onstage who does fuck-all, he does nothing. He presses a button and puts his hands up in the air. He doesn’t pretend to be lip-syncing to a track.”

Naturally some took offence to these rather reductive comments, namely Talib Kweli. Striking back at Simmons over Twitter, Kweli had a pretty ruthless comeback for Simmons.

Simmons had a curt retort prepared for Kweli on Twitter.

Kweli had good response prepared for Simmons Twitter diatribe, firing back:

He finished off by posting a picture with the lyrics of KRS-One’s song Hip Hop Lives

Some KRS One lyrics for @genesimmons

A photo posted by Talib Kweli (@talibkweli) on Mar 18, 2016 at 7:12am PDT

This isn’t the first time Simmons has expressed incredulity about the inclusion of rap into the annals of music greatness.

When asked in a 2014 interview with about his book Ladies of the Night: A Historical and Personal Perspective on the Oldest Profession in the World, Simmons said that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was “a well meaning organization run by about ten guys,” and “these ten guys, some of them are good guys, some perhaps not, decided that there would be rappers and disco artists inducted.”

“A few people decide what’s in and what’s not. And the masses just scratch their heads,” he continues further on in the interview.

Hey Gene, what about hair metal? You know, that overly-theatrical genre you’re a part of which focuses more on leather pants and makeup than music and lyrics? Reckon that will outlast rap? Oh wait, it’s already dead.