In 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were the first hip-hop artists to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but one “rockstar” doesn’t think hip-hop has a place in the organization.
In a recent interview with Radio.com, Gene Simmons, singer and guitarist for the Rock band Kiss, said the induction of hip-hop artists like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Run-DMC into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame goes against the meaning of the organization.
“I have no beef with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he said. “You go on with your bad self and get more Disco artists…A long time ago it was diluted. It’s really backroom politics, like Boss Tweed. A few people decide what’s in and what’s not. And the masses just scratch their heads. 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! That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!”
So according to Simmons, you should be all Rock & Roll, and nothing else. Simmons even took issue with his former neighbor, Donna Summer, being inducted. “Donna was my next door neighbor for many years, I knew and liked her, she was on my  solo record,” Simmons said. “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? 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.”
So if we’re using Gene Simmons logic, then I guess the Bees Gees, Sam Cooke and Bob Marley shouldn’t be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame either? Or maybe it’s time for a name change for the organization, something like The Music Hall of Fame? Or here’s a thought…why can’t someone start a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame? I’m Jay-Z, Russell Simmons and Kanye have a few pennies and influence laying around to start one.
Clutchettes, do you think hip-hop should be allowed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?