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Gene Simmons Dismisses Pop Divas, Says ‘Rap Will Die’

Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

A quick glance around the music scene proves to be a disheartening experience for Gene Simmons, who has little use for either pop and hip-hop stars.

“My thing about the disco divas who get up onstage — and 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,” the Kiss star told Rolling Stone. “They have a backing track. It’s really a karaoke bar. Karaoke is more honest, because you know it’s karaoke.'”

Meanwhile, he sees hip-hop as a fading phenomenon. “Rap will die,” he predicted. “Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along.” Simmons was quite blunt in admitting that he isn’t hip-hop’s target audience. “I don’t have the cultural background to appreciate being a gangster,” he said. “Of course, that’s not what it’s all about, but that’s where it comes from. That’s the heart and soul of it. It came from the streets.”

Should rap fade, however, don’t expect Simmons to shed any tears. “I am looking forward to the death of rap,” he pointed out. “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.”

There simply aren’t enough up-and-coming rock acts to lead a counter-insurgency, Simmons lamented. “There ain’t no new bands,” he explained. “Foo Fighters, I love ’em, but they’re a 20-year-old band. These are long-in-the-tooth bands: Nirvana, Pearl Jam. They’re old bands.”

In the meantime, Simmons has some career advice for Lady Gaga, one of pop’s biggest stars. “She can write songs, play instruments and can actually sing,” he admitted. “And she understands the fearless quality of spectacle. I’d love to see her do Queen-style music. She can do it. Madonna cannot.”

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