Chuck D Says Kiss Deserves to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 04.10.2014
Even though not everyone agrees…
Billboard reports that Public Enemy co-founder Chuck D said he supported the induction of Kiss into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Below are some highlights from Chuck D speaking about the subject:
Chuck D on Gene Simmons' view that acts like Public Enemy don't belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "[Simmons] took the old-fashioned, limited position that rock 'n' roll is for guitars and some other primitive s*** like that. I guess his point was that he wants to be judged against the artists he thinks are his peers, like maybe Aerosmith. But yo, dude, one thing that the rocker doesn't understand is that rock came out of something."
Chuck D still believing that Kiss should be in: "I still think they should be in because they created a total 360-degree experience for their fans. They're one of those artists whose influence goes beyond the music. And you see that influence in the business today—everybody's about selling the experience, even more than the music."
Chuck D on Dave Marsh not wanting Kiss to be in the Hall of Fame: "I know Dave and I like him. but that's wild. I just scratch my head at that. You're supposed to throw your personal tastes out the window when you're doing this. Even if you're not into it, you have to pay attention to the demographics, and by that I don't just mean numbers [which, in Kiss' case, would include career album/DVD sales of approximately 200 million and career ticket sales of approximately 30 million]. What Kiss did was like Parliament-Funkadelic in some ways. Say you came up listening to rock, and you saw Parliament-Funkadelic turn a crowd out. Even if you totally didn't understand the music, you had to respect what it was doing. And it's the same with Kiss. You've got to look at the impact they had across the board."
Chuck D's thoughts on Kiss' music: "It's like cheap beer," he says with a laugh. "But that's okay sometimes. There's a place for high art and a place for low art. Low art is great in low places. And this is a performance art, at the end of the day. You can write the greatest song in the world, but who cares when you can't perform it well? If people consider your music a piece of shit but you can perform it well and win people over to it, you deserve an A grade for the performance even if you only get a C grade in music."