Looks like legendary rocker Gene Simmons distaste of NWA being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame didn’t fall on deaf ears as group member, MC Ren, took time to address Simmons criticism of their induction during their acceptance speech at the annual award show.
Gangster rap legends N.W.A. were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday night in Brooklyn, and instead of cussing out the police, the Comptonites instead took aim at Gene Simmons.
“I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons, hip-hop is here forever — get used to it,” said MC Ren, (aka Lorenzo Patterson) during the group’s acceptance speech.
It was a direct response to a recent interview Simmons gave to Rolling Stone, in which the KISS front man explained he was looking forward to the “death of rap.” But N.W.A., whose career was depicted in the 2015 movie “Straight Outta Compton” (now the most successful music biopic of all time), were keen to stress that it’s going nowhere.
Even though hip-hop icons such as Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five have already been inducted, Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson) also addressed the ongoing debate over whether a rap group should even be a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“Are we rock and roll? Ya god damn right we’re rock and roll,” he stated emphatically. The 46-year-old also explained rock and roll to be about not conforming “to the people who came before you,” but instead, “creating your own path, in music and in life. That is rock and roll, and that is us.”
The group had been planning a performance, with fellow Compton native Kendrick Lamar strongly rumored to be filling in for the late Eric “Eazy-E” Wright who died in 1995. But it didn’t come to fruition, and Lamar simply inducted them, describing NWA as “black superheroes” whose gritty lyrics took an “intimate look at what was happening in our communities.”
HBO will broadcast the entire ceremony on April 30.