Perhaps more than any other genre of music, Hip-Hop has truly embraced Freedom of Speech. The use of explicit language has pushed buttons, both literally and figuratively, over the years.
NBC’s popular series, “The Voice”, continues tonight (December 3), as the top six contestants perform in the quarterfinals. Interestingly enough, one of the show’s coaches, Cee Lo Green, became a household name because of his hit song, “F*ck You.” Yet another coach, Pop superstar Christina Aguilera, openly objected to a contestant’s performance of “99 Problems” earlier this year.
While the argument may always rage on in the mainstream between what is and is not acceptable to say (the late, great Heavy D would suggest that you can “kick a verse but don’t curse”), Hip-Hop has always encouraged free expression. And just because there are bad words, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a good song.
So, f*ck it! AllHipHop.com has come up with a list of outstanding “bad” records that have profanity in the title. But to be clear, and to paraphrase Run-D.M.C. – it’s “not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good”:
8). “The B*tch in Yoo” by Common: The song was a surprise when it was released. It was a response to Westside Connection’s “Westside Slaughterhouse” diss, and conscious rapper Common not only defended himself, but also spit rhymes against the Left Coast collective. Fortunately, this beef was squashed when Minister Farrakhan held a conference after the deaths of 2Pac and Biggie.
7). “Wonda Why They Call U B*tch” by 2Pac: The majority of All Eyez on Me is gangsta rap, but moments of Pac’s emotional and conscious sides do surface on the double album. And, “Wonda Why They Call U B*tch” is such an example. On the record, 2Pac steers young ladies away from decisions that would jeopardize their reputations and their safety.
6). “Me & My B*tch” by The Notorious B.I.G.: Track 12 on Biggie’s debut paints a detailed portrait of love and loyalty in the world of hustling. It’s a great a record and one of the reasons Biggie is still acknowledged to this day as one Hip-Hop’s most powerful MCs. “And if you don’t know, now you know.”
5). “Lick the Balls” by Slick Rick: There is clearly not a curse word in the title, but it also clearly can’t be played on public airwaves – so it still counts. Rick is often recognized for his ability to put variety in his music in terms of content, but this shows his variety of flow as well with the quick delivery. And so, boo to everyone who booed him at the Nets game recently.
4). “F*ck You” by Cee Lo Green: Motown definitely had an influence here, but Cee Lo is a genre-bending artist and that worked to his advantage. Because of the way he combined Soul with Pop, never has an insult sounded so happy. Cee Lo’s high vocals made for a catchy chorus and, rightfully so, the song was a critical and commercial smash.
3). “Just Don’t Give a F*ck” by Eminem: When Em said, “I’m Nicer than Pete, but I’m on a Serch to crush a Milkbone/I’m Everlast-ing, I melt Vanilla Ice like silicone,” he separated himself from inevitable comparisons before anyone else could make them. But then there’s the line about raping the women’s swim team. The song is skillful, smart, and sick all at once.
2). “Back That Azz Up” by Juvenile: Praising the female posterior and rapping dirty is nothing groundbreaking in Hip-Hop. The great thing about this record, though, is the beat (mad props to producer Mannie Fresh). The combination of the strings and drums bring together classical music with 808 bass, which results in the best music strippers have ever shaken their stuff to.
1). “F*ck Tha Police” by N.W.A: This song was met with so much controversy that it even prompted the F.B.I. to write a letter accusing the group of promoting “violence against and disrespect” toward law enforcement. In the end, N.W.A were stars, and the possibilities for the sound of popular music changed forever. Oh, and the song’s really f*ckin’ good, too.
What songs and/or song titles do you think areprofanely profound? Speak your mind freely in the comments section below!