Summer’s on its way, and with it, all the sensory stimuli we associate with that most relaxing of seasons: The taste of a cold beer, the sight of kids playing in the warm, welcome sun, and, of course, the sweet sound of aging musicians passive-aggressively debating semiotics on Twitter. Because even thought it’s 20-goddamn-16, N.W.A.’s recent induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has apparently kicked off yet another spin of the old “Is rap rock?” record, as played (this time, anyway) by Ice Cube and KISS frontman Gene Simmons.
Simmons has been beating this leathery, makeup-stained drum for a while now, telling Rolling Stone earlier this year that he’s “looking forward to the death of rap.” Now, former N.W.A. member and current Kevin Hart menacer Ice Cube has pulled a Phantom Of The Park and fallen into Simmons’ attention-seeking trap, responding to his claims on social media. “Who stole the soul?” Cube tweeted at Simmons yesterday. “Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Chubby Checkers (sic) help invent Rock ‘n’ Roll. We invent it. Y’all reprint it.” He then went on to quote himself, reiterating statements he made during the induction ceremony itself:
For his part, Simmons went with an “I’m just being logical, here, you guys,” approach, simply asking that others treat rock ‘n’ roll and its attendant halls with the same respect and professionalism that he has during his long tenure as a tongue-wagging, fire-breathing battle clown. In the process, he also managed to suggest that past Hall Of Fame inductees Miles Davis and Hank Williams shouldn’t be included, either, instead relegated to their own separate musical halls:
And while it’s not clear whether, in Simmons’ mind, America should be nothing but increasingly niche halls of fame, racing each other toward irrelevance and fighting over who gets to claim Elvis, one thing is certain: Nothing says “rock ’n’ roll” like the star of Barbershop 3 and a blood-vomiting mummy man arguing on their phones.