Gene Simmons: 'Pop, Hip-Hop Don't Belong in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame'

Iconic rocker slams acts who don't "sing or write."

Ultimate Guitar

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons has spoken out against pop and hip-hop acts being allowed into the hallowed Rock and Roll Hall of FameGigwise reports.

The iconic shock-rocker and Kiss are themselves to inducted next month alongside the likes of Nirvana, but has slammed the institution and "back room politics" for previously allowing artists such as Run DMC, Madonna and Donna Summer a place.

"They can run their organisation any way they'd like, but it ain't rock!" Simmons told Radio.Com. "You've got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run DMC in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You're killing me! [It] doesn't mean those aren't good artists. But ... They sample and they talk. Not even sing!"

He added: "If you don't play guitar and you don't write your own songs, you don't belong there."

When asked about the inclusion of acts such as Donna Summer in the Hall, Simmons replied: "Donna was my next door neighbour for many years. I knew and liked her, she was on my [1978] solo record. 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!'... [Soon they will] get the Boston Pops Orchestra to be inducted!"

Kiss, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt and Hall & Oates will all be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 10 April, 2014.

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    Hard to argue.
    KISS is a glorified boy band from the 70's who can barely play their instruments. I'd rather see Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys in the RRHoF than KISS. Just one guy's opinion.
    But they're NOT rock. I mean it doesn't even make sense to induct artist from another genre into a hall of fame for rock.
    It all depends on what you think qualifies as "rock" and what doesn't. If you're in the mindset that rock music stopped evolving with the classic bands of the 1970s and that any music that isn't a (reasonably close) copy of that music is NOT "rock" then yes, Gene Simmons is right. I'm in a different school of thought. I think that so much has happened with rock music since the rise of punk rock, hip hop and metal that term "rock" is pretty much pointless unless you're talking strictly nostalgia; Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith are OBVIOUSLY rock bands, right? What about Sonic Youth? The Red Hot Chili Peppers? Radiohead? Nine Inch Nails? Are THEY rock bands? Rock music has changed and evolved so much over the last 5 decades that unless the RRHoF starts disqualifying any band that pushed the genre in new directions... There won't be any more "rock" bands left to induct - turning the RRHoF into a frozen museum with zero modern relevance... which is already happening.
    Ok, to put it this way, Rock music is any music that feature predominately a guitar, bass, and drum sound. Rock music tends to be of a faster tempo in 4/4 time. However keyboard instruments such as synthesizers and pianos are not uncommon and many bands have experimented with the sounds of guitars through effects such as octavers, tape echos, distortion, and chorus pedals. Fusion genres are also popular such as rap rock, blues rock, and folk rock. Bands inducted into the rock and roll hall of shame should have had a significant impact on the genre and fall into the above description. This does not limit bands such as the Chili Peppers, Radiohead, or Sonic Youth because each of those bands could be described as such.
    So are the beastie boys rock? They have songs that are only the instruments you named? I just don't understand why you all would want to limit praise and admiration of good music to what you think is "rock" It's so limiting to put your label on it. I guarantee those guys at the rock hall know a hell of a lot more than all of you guys.
    Yes, the Beastie Boys are rock. The feature music that id predominately guitar, bass, and drums. My description does not rule out fusion genres such as rap rock as I stated above.
    well put chrisp I look at the term rock n roll as an attitude or as corny as its sounds sticking it to the man and any music that influences people to rock whether they are playing instruments or not rrhof does suck but your right they know more about music as a whole then the people that visit this site, also everyone hates gene and talks shit on him all the time then he says something that's his usual bullshit and everyone agrees with him, this article is no different from what he usually says... by the way kiss ****ing rock
    You should run the RRHF because just like haven't a clue.....
    you should be pope. you're out of touch and irrelevant to the matter
    Maybe they're Roll music, not Rock, so they could still belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
    They induct groups like public enemy because the lyrics, the music, attitude, spirit, etc. Is rock n roll it doesn't have to sound a certain way to rock
    yeah, I think it does. rap is rap and rock is rock. Gansta rap has a lot of attitude, so does eminem, but he is not rock.
    I love how the best comments in this thread are being downvoted and the ignorant ones read, "+55"
    Are you upset because people are not mindlessly bashing Kiss like you expected?
    Its just something you have to deal with when most of the people are all still in grade school
    it used to be called rock and roll .people see rock and think -bands that play down tuned screaming stuff.
    I have to disagree because they have some very nice guitar solos in their songs. I guess Ace Frehley and Bruce Kulick are the magic sauce of the band.
    I completely agree with what he's saying. I mean, I really like Grandmaster Flash, I think his music is great and really well thought out, but it just ISN'T rock. I think Gene was actually very respectful when he gave his reasoning, too. He said how it doesn't mean they're not good artists. He's completely right. There should be a "Pop and Hip-Hop" Hall of Fame, because they don't belong with the Rockers...
    I like Pop, and I love Hip hop. But I completely agree that they don't belong in the Rock and Roll hall of fame. Says it there right in its name. 'Rock and Roll'
    If you look at the criterion for submission, they honour acts/artists who have been influential in rock and roll and/or its subgenres... So hip-hop acts like Public Enemy, for instance, who were the inspiration for later rock bands like Rage Against the Machine (who obviously incorporated rap into their music) have every right to be in the Hall.
    Why does this get downvoted?
    Because whether you influenced it or not doesn't make you someone who deserves to be inducted out of the thousands who rock it harder than some influence. I'll put it this way for everyone who really doesn't understand what that means: There's an annual Wine Hall of Fame award presented to the best tasting wine. Although all the submissions were wine, because some of these nominated wines used the same delicious grapes, the grape distributor won this year. Not only will the wine-makers compete against each other from here on, but with the grape distributors as well - which is some absolute bs for the hard-working wine-makers.
    That seems like a logical fallacy based upon the naming of the rock and roll hall of fame. They have laid out their criterion for submission and that allows for bands like Run-DMC and Public Enemy to be admitted for being incredibly influential on future rock bands. If you don't like it then quit paying attention. Everybody knows that these kinds of awards are shit anyways.
    Because not really rock a matter of fact I don't know what it is but its definitely more Rap than Rock....
    You're right, but then the generaly quality of a band becomes part of the criteria. Run-DMC and Public Enemy (imo) are infuential enough to meet the HoF requirements, but they're also good bands. Nobody will say that in 30 years (or sooner if he dies) when Justin Bieber gets his induction for having influenced lots of girls to cut their hair and slit their wrists. Nobody will agree, but he'll get his induction, because he's influenced the direction rock music has taken merely by annoying everyone to the point where dad-rock is cool again, and a good pop musician follows the trend, so more rock music makes it to the Top 40s. But then I might be talking out of my ass just for the sake of arguement
    Gene Simmons runs his mouth about literally everything, but I mean, on the other hand it is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
    He's right, but i don't agree with any hall of fame that includes Kiss anyway.
    TaVO Gene Simmons didn't write or sing "I was made for lovin you"
    "I Was Made for Lovin' You" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, originally released on their 1979 album Dynasty. It was released as the A-side of their first single from the album, on the B-side was "Hard Times". Taken from the Wikipedia article. Edit: You're right! apparently Gene Simmons had nothing to do with this Kiss song (I read the complete article).
    Paul Stanley wrote it.
    Yep, another member of the same band. No one member wrote all of the songs. Having a single writer/composer leads to a limited sound and short term band. (Eggs all in one basket.) And to the folks saying Kiss was a 70s boy band... All popular bands of the past could be called some modern day moniker. Think hard about this: Today's rockers have built upon what has come before. Without these influences I dare say we wouldn't have today's rock.
    Kiss doesn't belong in the a Rock Hall of Fame, either. They're just a bunch of no talent circus clowns.
    Who cares about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anyway?
    Appearently Mr. Simmons does, and a lot too. Even though he claims that he doesn't. Oh the irony.
    Who says you have to sing to be in rock? Is Steve Vai not Rock? Eric Johnson not rock? This will always be classic 80s rock to me
    Better guitar lines than some things you here today.
    I don't really think "they sample and they talk..." is a very good way to sum up the incredible amount of talent and intricacies that go into making good hip hop. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is bullshit anyway, music isn't really that cut-and-dried.
    Why did they bold Cat Stevens? He writes his own songs and plays guitar. Gene's criteria = met. Also, CAT STEVENS DESERVES TO BE IN EVERY HALL OF FAME EVER BECAUSE
    So by this logic your telling me I can't induct Football players into the Hockey Hall of Fame???!??!
    I think Gene Simmons is nothing more than a greedy, money, hungry slut, but he hit it on the head with this one folks. It is the " Rock and Roll " Hall of Fame , not Hip Hop, Rap, or Pop, HOF ! Acts like Madonna, ABBA, Public Enemy, Run DMC , etc, do not belong in there.