A few weeks ago, Gene Simmons, from legendary rock group Kiss, chatted with Rolling Stone to express his dismay at the popularity of hip-hop. "I am looking forward to the death of rap," said Simmons. "I don't have the cultural background to appreciate being a gangster."
In the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, new inductees N.W.A fired back at the Kiss singer's incendiary remarks. "Now, the question is, are we rock & roll? And I say you goddamn right we rock & roll," said Ice Cube. "So rock & roll is not conforming. Rock & roll is outside the box."
Gene Simmons responded to the N.W.A rebuttals, but those comments aren't really what's important. Cube was almost right, but it's music that's out of the box. We live in 2016, a time when "hip-hop" legends can invite renowned "rock" stars to the studio and the only appropriate response is "when is the album going to drop?" Simmons' remarks highlight an anachronistic view of outdated musical stereotypes and how it inhibits music from growing into what it could be.