Gene Simmons’ Feud With Ice Cube Is The Least Relevant Thing Imaginable. | Gradient

Gene Simmons’ Feud with Ice Cube Is the Least Relevant Thing Imaginable.


A few weeks ago, KISS co-founder Gene Simmons opened his mouth to give his opinion about rap, and it went about as well as you’d expect. Among other things, Simmons told Rolling Stone “I am looking forward to the death of rap. … 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.”

The comment drew some outrage, prompting Simmons to beat the old horse about how easily offended the kids are getting these days. And before we go on, it’s necessary to note about deeply irrelevant this whole feud is. Outside of Gene Simmons, is anyone really doubting that hip-hop is the most significant American music genre of our time? President Obama said Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost?” was his favorite song of 2015. Probably even Barbara Bush has downloaded Life of Pablo by now.

Well, Simmons doubts it, and NWA used their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to put him on blast. “I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip-hop is here forever,” MC Ren announced. “We’re supposed to be here.”

Ice Cube continued: “‘The question is, ‘Are we rock ‘n’ roll?’ And I say—you’re goddamn right we’re rock ‘n’ roll.”

Simmons graciously apologized over Twitter and, just kidding.

We must take this tweet to mean Mr. Simmons is either unaware or uncaring that there is unfortunately no such thing as a hip hop hall of fame (yet). Ice Cube also responded over Twitter, arguing out that rock and roll is more a spirit than an actual genre.

To which Simmons responded (I know. We’re almost done): “Cube – I stand by my words. Respect NWA, but when Led Zep gets into Rap Hall of Fame, I will agree with your point.” Again, Mr. Simmons’ argument appears to be entirely based upon an institution that does not exist.

Will Gene Simmons finally decide that it’s okay if NWA is in the rock and roll hall of fame? Will Ice Cube convince Simmons that hip-hop is a version of rock and roll, in spirit if not instrumentation? Will anyone ever tell Gene Simmons that there’s no such thing as a rap hall of fame? Does anyone care? The only answer to all these questions is to either stay tuned or instead direct your attention to literally anything else.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Jason Russell”


Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “ Aharon Rabinowitz”


Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 040


United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?

New Pod Flow: Scribble & Jam, “Artist Matthew Perryman Jones”


Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.

If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit

Subscribe on iTunes.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Next Steps After the Presidential Election”


Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 039


Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.

This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “Illo


Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy.  During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 038


This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.

Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

New Pod Flow: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Podcast: Doctor Strange


We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.