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KISS’ Gene Simmons ‘Looking Forward to Death of Rap,’ Calls EDM ‘Honest’

Gene Simmons (KISS)
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

KISS bassist Gene Simmons is not one to shy from sharing his opinion and during an interview with Rolling Stone he provided his thoughts on a number of genres, calling EDM artists honest, but having harsher things to say about rap and some female pop stars.

“I am looking forward to the death of rap,” says Simmons. “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.” He clarifies, “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-Haa!,’ 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.”

Later in the interview, he returned to speaking about rap, stating, “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.”

Simmons also bristled at some of the “disco divas” as he called them, explaining, “I love Jennifer Lopez and Ciara and Shakira and Madonna and all the girls with names that end in ‘a.’ They’re very talented in their own way — but it’s dishonest. They have a backing track. It’s really a karaoke bar. Karaoke is more honest, because you know it’s karaoke.” But when it came to Lady Gaga, he sang a different tune. “As far as I’m concerned, if Lady Gaga dropped the disco and 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.”

While calling out some of the female singers, he did more favorable things to say about electronic dance music acts. “EDM is honest,” says Simmons. “EDM says, ‘Here’s a guy onstage who does f–k-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.”

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