SOMEONE NEEDS TO POP A CAP IN GENE SIMMONS’ ASS, YO!
You’d be hard pressed to name an aging rock star more embarrassing than Gene Simmons. Born Chaim Witz in Israel, Simmons, of course, co-founded Kiss, one of the biggest bands of all time, fucked every woman on the planet (he still has an “open relationship” with his partner and mother of his children, playmate Shannon Tweed, and continues to take porn stars to parties on a regular basis) and turned merchandizing into an art form, George Lucas-style, until he finally pushed past the limits of good taste and approved the Kiss Koffin. He’s also stated publicly that all he cares about is money and pussy, ensuring that both right-wing Christians who think Kiss stands for “Knights in Satan’s Service” and anti-semites everywhere will have recruitment fodder for years to come.
Now Simmons thinks that, as a white Jew, he’s qualified to lecture the hip-hop community on how to keep their record sales up. He told AllHipHop.com:
“Rap better figure out something new, because the next group of guys who say ‘Wassup’ is not gonna be original enough. Very soon that clock will stop ticking, and it’s gonna have to move to that next step, or something else will come and push it out of the way as well. Also I’d like to hear a rapper who can really speak English exceedingly well, somebody who can pronounce every single word, doesn’t make up his own language and just is a breath of fresh air. Someone who comes in with a suit and tie and really comes off as well dressed [and] well educated just to be different.”
Now, I’d be the first to agree that modern hip-hop is in a pretty sad state, creatively (for every Jurassic 5, it seems like there’s a hundred Black Eyed Peas) but I don’t think Gene Simmons is the guy to come in and fix those problems- especially since, while Kiss still makes plenty of money touring the world as a nostalgia act (can you think of anything lamer than making Tommy Thayer dress up like Ace Frehley?), hip-hop’s record sales generally trounce rock’s sales these days.
Then there’s the vaguely racist element of what Simmons is saying. He’s right, of course- most rappers don’t speak proper English- but then, neither do most Kiss fans. I’ve been to a Kiss show and I had a good time, but Kiss fans are some weird hybrid of Bon Jovi meatheads and Slayer alcoholics, which is to say, you have a 50/50 chance of being able to understanding the words coming out of their mouths at any given time.
As for wearing suits: well, talk about the pot calling the kettle black (no racial implications intended). Gene Simmons makes his living dressing up in platform boots and face paint, spitting blood and fire, and waving his tongue suggestively. Entertaining? Hell yes. “Respectable,” by the standards which Simmons is discussing here? No. Not exactly. And in pretty strong contrast to, say, hip-hop “moguls” like P. Diddy and Masta P, who seem to wear suits as often as possible.
It’s rock n’ roll, Chaim, not Wall Street. Try to spend less time lecturing and more time writing the next “Calling Dr. Love.”