N.W.A‘s MC Ren is still angry at Gene Simmons‘ negative statements about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducting rap artists. “That dude is real arrogant,” the rapper tells Rolling Stone. “It’s like, how he’s looking at us, how he know that people before him in rock & roll don’t look at him like that? How he know the Beatles or Muddy Waters, if he was still around, don’t look at him as a gimmick? Who is he to say anything if he’s wearing makeup and heels and sticking out his tongue every 10 seconds of his show? Come on, man, that’s a gimmick.”
When the gangsta-rap scene leaders were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this month, MC Ren used his turn at the mic to target the Kiss singer-songwriter. “I want to say, to Mr. Gene Simmons, hip-hop is here forever,” he said. “Get used to it. … We supposed to be here.”
The Kiss singer had told Rolling Stone last month that he was “looking forward to the death of rap” and had previously stated that he felt rap did not belong in the institution. In the week after the induction, he and another N.W.A MC, Ice Cube, sparred on Twitter about the meaning of rock & roll. Eventually, Cube told Howard Stern, “Everybody’s got their own opinions and Gene, he’s an OG in the game, but he’s just wrong on this.”
“What if Paul McCartney said, ‘You shouldn’t be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?'” Ren says. “What if the Rolling Stones said, ‘Y’all shouldn’t be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,’ how would he feel then? He would look stupid. If you asked around, and you asked enough rock & roll greats, them dudes is a joke.
“He’s probably so salty because hip-hop groups got in before he did, like Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Public Enemy,” he continues. “I think he was mad they got in before he did, but that’s what it is. And, Im’ma tell you this right now, you can quote this: ‘Fuck tha Police’ is way more rock & roll than ‘I want to rock & roll all night and party every day.’ Come on, man.”
Ren also reiterated what he said at the Barclays Center podium. “Hip-hop is here to stay, man,” he says. “For real. You need to just get used to that. He don’t have a choice man. And they ain’t gonna kick us out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because he says so. You don’t own the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”