Inductees MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and DJ Yella from N.W.A appear at the 31st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center on April 8, 2016, in New York City.
Kiss' Gene Simmons has a lot of opinions -- one of them, probably unsurprisingly, is that "rap will die." He recently told Rolling Stone, "I am looking forward to the death of hip-hop," a stance that some rappers naturally took issue with.
Well, during N.W.A's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2016, MC Ren shut down Simmons' prediction in no uncertain terms at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday (April 8).
"I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip-hop is here forever," Ren said. "We're supposed to be here." While most of the Barclays Center responded with cheers, a few sour boos could be heard throughout the venue, either in protest to hip-hop or in Simmons' defense.
Later in Ice Cube's speech (the most well-worded of the evening up to that point), he explained why, exactly, N.W.A and hip-hop in general belong in the Rock Hall alongside the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.
'The question is, 'Are we rock 'n' roll?'" Cube asked the crowd. "And I say -- you goddamn right we rock 'n' roll.
"Rock 'n' roll is not an instrument. It's not even a style of music. It's a spirit that's been going on since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, rock 'n' roll, R&B, heavy metal, punk rock, and yes, hip-hop."
For anyone who might still sniff with disdain, Cube pointed out that the real spirit of rock is not to slavishly follow what's been done before, but to forge your own path.
"Rock 'n' roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and life. That is rock 'n' roll and that is us."