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Gene Simmons Says Brutal Hip-Hop Comments Weren’t ‘Mean-Spirited’

By Hayden Wright

In addition to calling Prince’s death “pathetic” in a recent Newsweek interview (comments for which he’s since apologized) Gene Simmons has clarified another controversial statement about how he eagerly awaits the death of hip-hop music.

“I am looking forward to the death of rap,” he told Rolling Stone in March, echoing statements he made to Radio.com two years ago. “I’m looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking.”

Related: KISS’ Gene Simmons Eagerly Awaits the Death of Rap

In his chat with Newsweek, Simmons said what he meant to say was that all music styles are popular for a while, then fade away.

“I didn’t mean [to be] mean-spirited,” he said. “I’ve got to watch my words. Of course I don’t want it to die. But it will. Rock dies, rap dies—doo-wop died. Remember this? [He sings in the style of doo-wop.] That’s dead. That Chuck Berry stuff is gone. Folk rock went. All things will pass. This idea that music will last forever is delusional.”

Simmons gave examples of other genres he feels fell by the wayside after their illustrious heydays.

“I’ve been criticized for saying rock is dead but I stand by my words. From 1958 to 1988 we had Elvis, the Beatles, The [Rolling] Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Queen. From 1988 until today, give me the new Beatles? It doesn’t work, does it? Pretty f—ing pathetic.”

Simmons added that while pop music is thriving at the moment he’s less than impressed by the latest crop of superstars.

“The boy band is alive and well—One Direction is a very big band,” he said. “The pop stuff is good—you’ve got Bieber and Beyoncé. I don’t know how to tell anybody this, but it ain’t the Beatles. It doesn’t have the gravitas.”

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