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Kiss Singer Gene Simmons Thinks Hip-Hop Has No Place in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

In the opinion of Kiss singer Gene Simmons, hip-hop has no place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Speaking to about Kiss’ upcoming induction into the organization, Simmons criticized the Hall of Fame’s selection process and the inclusion of hip-hop artists.

“A long time ago it was diluted. It’s really back room politics, like Boss Tweed,” Simmons stated. “A few people decide what’s in and what’s not. And the masses just scratch their heads.”

Simmons singled out the inductions of hip-hop legends Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five and Run-D.M.C. in his critique of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-D.M.C. in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me!” That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!”

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five made history in 2007, as the first hip-hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since then, groups such as Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys have been inducted.

When asked about his feelings on his friend Donna Summers being inducted last year, Simmons continued his criticism of the Hall of Fame for including non-rock artists.

“But if you asked Donna, ‘What kind of artist are you?’ do you think she would say ‘rock?’ If you asked Madonna, ‘What kind of artist are you?’ do you think she would say, ‘Oh, rock!’ So what they hell are they doing in the Hall of Fame?” Simmons opined. “They can run their organization any way they’d like, but it ain’t rock! It just isn’t! If you don’t play guitar and you don’t write your own songs, you don’t belong there.”

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