Filed under: Classic Ignorance,Features,Listicles,Not Your Average,Web Work
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
This is a little somethin’ somethin’ I was asked to write for another media organization that ended up on the cutting room floor. The basic premise is “The Most Offensive Lyrics From Conscious MC’s”, but the definition of “conscious” rappers is so vague that it’s pointless. It’s also the reason why stuff like “Black Korea” and “lllegal Aliens” isn’t included. In the plus side, you only have to click this post once!
“Rappers take a dive like Greg Louganis with his faggot-ass.” – Common on De La Soul‘s “The Bizness”
Although the dreaded F-bomb is censored, it’s obvious what Lonnie is driving at here. Louganis won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games on both the springboard and platform, and is the only male in Olympic history to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympics, although he may be best remembered for cracking his dome during a dive in ’88, getting concussed and still winning the gold. It wasn’t until 1994 that Greg publicly announced that he was both gay and HIV positive, which immediately opened him up to Common’s witty yet tasteless punchline for his outstanding appearance on “The Bizness” from De La Soul’s Stakes Is High album. Thankfully, Louganis refrained from recording a response, since there’s no evidence to suggest he was a rap fan in the first place, plus he could have just posted a photo of his medals on Instagram if it had existed back then anyway.
“Call me homophobic but I know it and you know it/You’re filthy and funny to the utmost exponent/Never will I do that, disrespect my mommy/So run and hide your salami.” – Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest feat. Brand Nubian, “George Porgie”
Proving that even a seemingly progressive character such as Q-Tip isn’t immune to the lure of some reactionary lyrics, The Abstract is less venomous in his delivery here than his Brand Nubian guests, admitting to homophobia and informing us that he would never stray to such a path else it upset his mother. The line about hiding salami is always good for a cheap laugh though.
“Tall Israelis are running this rap shit.” – Mos Def, “The Rape Over”
The Mighty Mos Def was clearly aggy when he recorded this remake of Jay-Z‘s “Takeover” for his under-whelming The New Danger LP, ranting against the “Tall Israelis” (an obvious shot at Lyor Cohen, an exceptionally tall fellow of Hebrew descent who has been making moves since the days of Run-DMC) and “quasi-homosexuals” who are “running this rap shit”. Guess somebody had a little falling-out with their record label that morning. huh?
“Ya think ya look better cause ya skin’s a little bit lighter?/You’re thinking you’re my type like I was a typewriter?/No, ya think ya all-uh-that and all-uh-this/Bt you ain’t really shit without a makeup kit/See, ya might be light, but ya ugly to me.” – Del The Funkee Homosapian, “Dark Skin Girls”
Sure, Del’s intention was noble enough – make a song celebrating the beauty of dark-skinned girls who are traditionally ignored by the media for women with more of a European look. Turns out he got a little carried away, to the point of lumping all light-skinned girls into the “ugly” boat and simply reversing the unfortunate divide instead of empowering anybody.
“See I’m a disbeliever when it comes to jungle fever/Aiyyo God you trust the Devil? (Now Cipher) Me neither.” – Grand Puba, “Soul Controller”
Puba has never been a huge fan of “the colored man” (white people), with the exception of Tommy Hillfiger and the songs producer Dante Ross, and warns D’Evils to stay away from the “kings and queens of the universe” when it comes to dating. He also finds time to tell Operah “bitch, kiss my ass” for playing down slavery and explains why Christmas and Easter suck. Who said Puba just talks about “skins” all the time?
“What do you know, when the meow is completed/Girly girl cried rape, yo, I didn’t really need it.” – Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest “The Infamous Date Rape”
This track sent listeners a lot of mixed messengers. One verse was warning of the danger’s of date rape, another dealt with girls being on their period and this one was apparently about Phife getting a little carried away…or setting him up…or something. Having had his fill of “meow” (shocking that this prticular euphamism never caught on), Phife’s date screams “rape”, at which point he seems to shrug it off on some “Here we go again!” type of situation. Not exactly “Bonita Applebum”, is it?
“Nigga like you who ain’t learned/That hittin’ pale skins’ll get you burned/Man, y’all better let them white hoes go/But y’all don’t hear me though.” – Kam, “Y’All Don’t Hear Me Dough”
There was a time when Ice Cube was helping out out a lot of local talent through his Street Knowledge imprint. Sure, everyone he worked with eventually made diss recrods about him, but before that unpleasantness there were some great records. Kam first appeared on the Boyz-N-Tha-Hood soundtrack, and had a knack for matter of fact rhymes covering life and politics in LA (his first single, “Peace Treaty”, dealt with the gang truce following the LA Riots). As a muslim, Kam had little time for white girls, and insisted that they were all disease-ridden harlots that will put you in the local STD clinic. Meanwhile, his Neva Again album featured a track called “Sterotype” which called for an end to race-based generalizations…
“Look, the other day, I seen a girl acting like a boy/Then I seen a little boy acting like a girl. People try to tell me it’s just a way of the world!” – Saigon, “Our Babies (pt II)”
I suspect that Sai-Giddy saw a young boy playing with a Barbie doll and a little girl with a Tonka truck on a recent visit to Toys-R-Us when he penned this observational track about this “crazy world” we live in. Please keep him away from anywhere that the USA’s women’s national soccer team might be training in case he dies of shock.
“I body slam her but I’m not a misogynist/When I see a brother gettin’ nabbed it makes me pissed.” – Jeru The Damaja, “Da Bitchez”
Not only did this song play a part in sparking Jeru’s rivalry with The Fu-Gees after L-Boogie took offence, but the idea of claiming you’re not a woman hater right after you’ve literally “body slammed” a “bitch” is a fairly tough pill to swallow.
“The Big Daddy law is anti-faggot/That means no homosexuality, what’s in my pants will make you see reality!” – Big Daddy Kane, “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy”
Big Daddy Kane didn’t pull any punches on this Nice & Smooth collaboration from the It’s A Big Daddy Thing album, literally laying down the law regarding his sexuality. His subsequent posing for Playgirl magazine and Madonna’s Sex book were clearly his attempts to show everyone exactly what was in his pants, in case anybody wanted to “see reality”. Kane survived rumors of having AIDS in the pre-internet era, only to undo all his hard work by appearing in Heavy D‘s “Don’t Curse” video with a broken arm and the world’s tightest purple suit.
“Why you tryin’ to be hardcore, you fuckin’ homo-thug?/and don’t be sensitive and angry at the shit that I wrote/ ‘cause if you can take a fucking dick, you can take a joke.” – Immortal Technique, “Obnoxious”
This line is actually pretty funny, unless of course you’re a gay tough guy rapper. By this logic, straight female MC’s should be able to take every joke aimed in their direction with a polite smile.
“Cats who claimin’ they hard be mad fag/So I run through ‘em like flood water through sandbags.” – Mos Def “Re-Definition”
If we were playing the “pause” game right now, one might issue a couple of “pause” infraction tickets to Mos for using the terms “claimin’ they hard” and “run through them” in reference to these alleged homosexuals. The bit about “sandbags” is fine, though.
“It only brings agony, ask James Cagney/He beat up on a guy when he found he was a fagney/Cagney is a favorite he is my boy/he don’t jive around,he’s a real McCoy.” – Flavor Flav on Public Enemy‘s “A Letter To The New York Post”
A classic example of Flavor Flav making up a word just for the sake of rhyming, the term “fagney” never really caught on. Despite extensive research into the matter, no one seems exactly sure if James Cagney did indeed beat anybody up because of thier sexuality, or if Flav just made the whole thing up for shits ‘n giggles.
“Though I can freak, flock, flow, fuck up a faggot/Don’t understand their ways and I ain’t down with gays” – Sadat X on Brand Nubian “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down”
It’s fair to say that Sadat X was having a rough day here. After having smacked some kids on the iron horse for having dared speak poorly of Brand Nubian (now that lead MC Grand Puba had departed the crew), he then turned his frustrations on gay men on account of “not understanding their ways”. Hopefully nobody was stupid enough to imply that Brand Nubian had fallen off while holding hands with another man, otherwise Sadat may have thrown them onto the third rail and caught a case.
“Now your manhood is took and you’re a Maytag/Spend the next two years as a undercover fag” – Melle Mel, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five‘s “The Message”
We may have declared “The Message” to be the “Greatest Hip-Hop Beat of All-Time” [http://www.complex.com/music/2012/11/the-100-greatest-hip-hop-beats-of-all-time/grandmaster-flash-furious-the-message], but it also has the dubious honor of being the first “conscious” rap track to include a negative reference to homosexulity, albeit the non-consenual jail variety. “Maytag” is an old school prison term for becoming another inmates’ “bitch”, in case you were wondering.
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