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. 


The New York Daily News reports that Simmons responded to the backlash this weekend and cleaned up his comments … kinda.

“Apparently pointing out that everything is cyclical—even music—is ‘controversial,’” he tweeted Friday. “People are very easily offended.”

“Pointing out everything is ‘cyclical’ is different than ‘looking forward’ to things dying,” Kweli fired back. “Do better Gene.”


“That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing,” Simmons responded. “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.”

Read more at the New York Daily News.