KISS' Gene Simmons Says 'Rap Will Die' But 'EDM Is Honest'

18 March 2016 | 2:44 pm | Staff Writer

"I am looking forward to the death of rap."


Known for his assertive opinions on any given subject, KISS co-founder Gene Simmons has spoken candidly about his thoughts on the state of a number of music genres, including rap, which he insists will "die" within the next ten years. 

In an interview with Rolling Stone, the bassist said, "I am looking forward to the death of rap".

"I'm looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking. A song, as far as I'm concerned, is by definition lyric and melody…or just melody.

"I'm all for anybody talking. Wild Thing was talking: 'Wild thing, she makes my heart sing/ she makes everything … .' There's no melody there. That's cool. Napoleon XIV, 'They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!' That's a funny song, but those are novelty records. So was Dickie Goodman and Mr Jaws. These were all hits, by the way. But predominantly, music is about melody and lyric, whether it's rap or doo-wop, or yeah, even rock."

The 66-year-old rocker went on to say he never got into rap music because he doesn't "have the cultural background to appreciate being a gangster".

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"Of course that's not what it's all about, but that's where it comes from," he said.

"That's the heart and soul of it. It came from the streets.

"Rap will die. Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy." 

When asked about his thoughts on electronic dance music (EDM), Simmons gave a more positive response, though arguably a back-handed response. 

"EDM is honest," Simmons said. 

"EDM says, 'Here's a guy onstage who does fuck-all, he does nothing. He presses a button and puts his hands up in the air. He doesn't pretend to be lip-syncing to a track. He has a light show and it's an honest relationship.'"

Simmons even took a shot at rock'n'roll, just two years after KISS were inducted into the prestigious Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. 

"As far as I'm concerned, rock is dead," Simmons declared.

"There ain't no new bands. Foo Fighters, I love 'em, but they're a 20-year-old band. These are long-in-the-tooth bands: Nirvana, Pearl Jam. They're old bands.

"That doesn't mean there's not new bands out there. As far as I'm concerned, if Lady Gaga dropped the disco and the pole dancing and all that stuff and put together a rock band, that would be legitimate, because she's got the musical goods. She can write songs, play instruments and can actually sing. And she understands the fearless quality of spectacle. I'd love to see her do Queen-style music. She can do it. Madonna cannot."