What’s Good?! I’m back again this week to bring you some of that knowledge. Hip Hop has always been a genre that has gotten attention for it’s profanity in lyrics, glorify of murders, and support of drugs. Needless to say, Hip Hop can never stay away from being under some negative spotlight. When the negatives of Hip Hop are brought up, there are always some faces that come up that are completely associated with bringing some of that controversy into the industry. Whether if it’s a murder charge, or simply some beef started by a diss, Hip Hop brings the controversy. Who are they? Shit, that’s why I’m here. Let’s get into it.
From the day that they came onto the Hip Hop scene, the rest of the world was saying something about NWA. If it wasn’t their name, it was something that they were saying about the cops in their music. At one point during the group’s career, the FBI contacted NWA about their song “Fuck Tha Police” which pretty much was about, well, saying fuck the police. After that song released on their Straight Outta Compton LP, the LAPD acknowledged the statements made by NWA, and the FBI even decided to send a letter to their label to show how much they disapproved. Even if they were just writing about the reality of living in Compton, the cops and feds obviously weren’t really big fans of it.
Honestly, everything that Suge Knight does either in Hip Hop or in his own personal life always seems to get him into some controversial shit. At the beginning, the former owner of Death Row Records CEO was signing the top Westcoast artists available such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Nate Dogg, Kurupt and several others. However, as things started to heat up during the West coast vs. East coast feud, Suge didn’t fall back and work behind the scenes. In the fatal shooting of 2Pac, although he was the driver, suspicion rose about Suge being somewhat involved in the shooting of his own artist’s death. A year later after the death of Notorious B.I.G, Suge’s involvement in the crime was questioned again by L.A.P.D, but never lead to anything that would get him incarcerated. Although it has been 15 years since, Suge as a suspect hasn’t exatly been dropped, and he still could be the mastermind behind it all.
These days Snoop seems to be so high off his ass that he transformed from Dogg to Lion. All that is cool, but back in 1993, Snoop was deep in what could have been the end of his career and life. After Snoop was involved in a shooting committed by his bodyguard McKinley Lee, Snoop was charged with murder for driving the vehicle in which the shooting occured. After a legal process which involved Johnnie Cochran as his defense, Snoop was accquitted of his murder charge on the idea of self-defense. Since then, Snoop has gotten tangled with the law a countless amount of times for marijuana possession in many countries. Snoop even found a way to get banned from entering Norway after entering the country with 8 grams of weed.
He got shot 9 times. He got shot 9 times. HE GOT SHOT 9 TIMES. When 50 first started building his hype, that was the one thing that was always said about him in Hip Hop circles. At a time where trap music was running strong in Hip Hop, 50 came into the game with a history of incarceration based on his distribution of cocaine. When he released the track “How To Rob”, 50 meant the track to be a joke, but many artists who he took shots at didn’t take it so lightly and took their shots back in their own tracks. People like Jay-Z, Big Pun, Kurupt, and Wyclef all responded with their own jabs at 50 for mentioning them on his track. 50 hasn’t stayed away from beef, starting some feuds with people like Fat Joe, Nas, Jadakiss, Puff, Rick Ross, former G-Unit member Young Buck and most notably Game. After being close friends at one point, 50 called out Game for his lack of involvement in any feuds that G-Unit had with other artists. After dismissing Game from G-Unit during an interview with Hot 97, Game responded with his campaign G-Unot and went on to record diss tracks like “300 Bars and Runnin”. After many tracks and a fake reconciliation, the two decided to call it quits and squash the beef in 2009. Amazingly, the beef was said to be squashed with the help of Diddy and Michael Jackson…Can’t make that up.
If you take a look at Em today, he definitely is a much more tamed artist than he had been in the earlier part of his career. From talking about killing his mom to saying something disrespectful to the homosexual community, Eminem never really held anything back, and no one asked him to. One of the biggest controversies of Em’s career was his feud with on and off girlfriend Kim. Whenever he got the chance of simply talking shit about her or even mentioning possibly killing her, he really made sure that he would express it in the most graphic and streamlined way possible. His homophobic lyrics got him into trouble with GLAAD and NOW supporters who picketed heavily at the 2001 Grammy’s. However when Eminem performed his track “Stan” with Elton John, people saw that Em wasn’t exactly the homophobic guy he portrayed himself to be. Eminem these days isn’t short in talent, but you have to admit that his controversial tracks were the highlight of his career.
Jay-Z vs. Nas
From Queensbridge to Marcy, Jay and Nas still have one of the most prolific feuds in all of Hip Hop. Before Jay took shots at Nas at Hot 97′s Summer Jam in 2001, there was always a lingering feeling that something was about to jump off any minute, with Jay taking jabs at Nas and Mobb Deep. When Hov performed “Takeover” at Summer Jam, the beef was set off. Nas freestyled over the “Paid in Full” beat and dissed practically all of R.O.C.’s members. Soon after, Nas dropped Ether which made the feud go into full effect. From 2001 to 2003, Nas and Hov went back and forth releasing tracks dissing each other, until the beef seemingly ended with Hov “retiring” after the release of The Black Album in 2003. However in 2005, Hov threw a comeback concert called I Declare War, where he had a special guest. Towards the end of the concert, Hov brought out Nas as his special guest and the two stood in front of the crowd. Since then, Jay signed Nas to Def Jam (when he was president) and the two collaborated on the track “Black Republican.”
People say that Kanye is an asshole, and I won’t agree but damn even Barack Obama thinks so. When College Dropout dropped for Kanye, he was riding a hype that many artists wish they could have in their career. A few albums later, Kanye definitely established himself as one of the biggest artists not only in Hip Hop, but across many genres. After the events of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Kanye appeared on a benefit to raise money for the victims of the tragedy. When it was his time to speak on the program, Kanye simply stated “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” His statement caused a media wildfire and was deemed by George W. Bush as “one of the most disgusting moments of his presidency.” Kanye hasn’t been afraid to show his disgust with award shows either. After not winning Best New Artist in American Music Awards in 2004, Kanye left the buliding in disgust. After a couple instances with MTV’s award shows, it wasn’t a surprise when Kanye stormed on stage during Taylor Swift’s award acceptance to claim that Beyonce’s video was the best video of all time. Even though some say it was staged, people still believe kanye is a asshole. Honestly, I could go on about Kanye and his ego driven actions, but hey *Kanye Shrug*.
From the late 90′s into the 2000′s it’s safe to say that DMX’s barking and grunting made him into a huge Hip Hop artist, that is until a whole bunch of controversy began to surround his personal life. At the high point in his career, DMX was the artist that led Ruff Ryders into the spotlight. With tracks like “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem”, “Party Up”, and “What’s My Name?” DMX was riding a nice hype that looked really promising. However when he started getting into a whole bunch of legal trouble, DMX started to move away from making music to tending to all court appearances he had. From drug possession to suspected carjackings, DMX didn’t touch a new track for quite a while. However now it seems that DMX is in the clear and is about to start up that music career again with an album coming in a week. We’ll see though, DMX is always close to something that can get him in trouble.
You might be asking why the hell Cam’ron is on this list, but trust me, I have some reasons. After his claimed involvement in a shooting in Washington in 2005, Cam’ron came out and said that he wouldn’t cooperate with authorities and upheld his support for “stop snitchin’”. In his defense, Cam claimed that his reason for not snitching was to keep his business interests in tact as well as simply follow what he’s been taught to do growing up. You would think it would stop there, but 60 minutes even had Cam come on their show and discuss his reasons for still keeping the “stop snitchin’” mentality. Even though the idea has been around as long as I can remember, critics claimed that Cam’s coming out right and supporting the idea would influence more people to follow along. Whether or not he did influence others, the refusal to snitch isn’t exactly going away anytime soon.