Cult Culture: 5 Most Controversial Songs
Following the recent controversy surrounding the summer hit ‘Blurred Lines’, The Tab London takes at some of the other songs through history that have made an impression…and not the good kind. […]
Following the recent controversy surrounding the summer hit ‘Blurred Lines’, The Tab London takes at some of the other songs through history that have made an impression…and not the good kind.
1. Blurred Lines
There’s no real empirical way to measure just how offensive a song is… but being banned by student unions across the UK is a pretty clear indication.
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams’ chart-topping tune has been branded as misogynistic and criticised for excusing rape culture. Oh, and the half-naked girls prancing around in the music video probably don’t help their cause either.
Most controversial lyric: ‘I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in
2. We Can’t Stop
You can’t forget the perennially latex-clad queen of twerking, Miley Cyrus. Her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards left celebrities and common folk alike feeling personally victimised.
But even before her controversial performance, there was objection to her music video and that line (no, not that kind of line). And what’s with all the teddy bears?!
Most controversial lyric: ‘Dancing with Molly / Doing whatever we want’
If Taylor Swift is anyone to go by, apparently writing songs about your ex is supposed to be cathartic. However, Eminem’s hit from 2000 all about his ex-wife may be the textbook definition of overboard.
Apparently all the bitterness of his failed relationship translated into a song that’s basically about him brutally murdering Kim.
Most controversial lyric: ‘NOW BLEED! BITCH BLEED!
BLEED! BITCH BLEED! BLEED!’
4. Smack My Bitch Up
This classic tune from the Prodigy was so controversial when it was released in 1997 that it was banned by MTV. Criticism, unsurprisingly, mostly came from feminist groups but in truth it shocked en masse. For a long time afterwards the only version played by radio stations was lyric-free.
Most controversial lyric: ‘Change my pitch up / Smack my bitch up’
Azealia Banks’ 2011 song debut single was huge, but if you ever inspected the lyrics you might think twice about this ostensibly upbeat club anthem. You’ll find extremely graphic references, the occasional death threat and rampant profanity in every single line of this song, but the irresistible hook and Banks’ flow make it work.
Upon release, 212 received widespread positive reviews and even came second in the Guardian’s ‘Best songs of 2011’.
Most controversial lyric: ‘I’m-a ruin you, c*nt’