Talib Kweli Calls Gene Simmons of Kiss Out of His Name Over Hip-Hop

The ’70s-band frontman said that he wished for “the death of rap” in a recent interview, and Kweli was not having any of it.

Talib Kweli in 2013
Talib Kweli in 2013 John Sciulli/Getty Images for Samsung

Conscious rapper and black Twitter denizen Talib Kweli mixed it up with Kiss frontman Gene Simmons and his fans on social media this weekend.

Simmons, 66, reduced rap to “talking” in a recent Rolling Stone interview: “I’m looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking,” he said. “A song, as far as I’m concerned, is by definition lyric and melody … or just melody.”

Kweli apparently caught wind of the interview:

In the interview, Simmons went on to question the validity of inducting icons like Grandmaster Flash and Run-DMC into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and said he looked forward to “the death of rap.”

Kweli summarily came for Simmons’ head by asking if maybe someone could say the same of Simmons.

“Hip-hop has saved countless lives. How dare he wish it dead,” Kweli asked. And then: “So would it be fair to wish him dead, or nah?”

The former Black Star rapper and activist went toe-to-toe with Kiss fans this weekend and compared the 40-year-old band—known more for its look than its music—to “marketing.”

As this thing went back and forth, Kweli responded to Kiss fans and took no tea for the fever.