Hip-Hop is one of the most unique genres of music, because there is a complete culture and lifestyle fully associated with it. There are certain rules, codes and creeds that must be followed and adhered to, and if these tenets are discarded, the backlash comes rolling down. Of course, with rap music becoming as mainstream as it is now, a lot of the rules are being thrown out the window. The fact is money does change everything. However one thing that will hopefully stay intact is the authenticity and rawness of the genre. In the article below, we have a list of 15 situations where the rules of Hip-Hop were tampered with for one reason or another. Here are 15 of the worst ever decisions in Hip-Hop ….
Puffy’s Shiny Suit Era
The mid-90’s were the peak of excessism in Hip-Hop. Rap was fully shedding its hardcore, street image and becoming more mainstream and glitzy than ever before. One of the crews leading this charge was Sean “Puffy” Combs and his Bad Boy entourage. One of his lead protégés at the time was a young Harlem rapper named Ma$e, and he was a perfect vehicle for this new lane of Hip-Hop. Puffy loved this new direction, and he was filming big budget videos and having his artists wear ridiculous shiny suits with lots of bling. Of course, nothing that over the top could sustain itself, and looking back at the era, those shiny suits almost resemble urban clown outfits. Not a good look at all for a hardcore rapper.
Rick Ross Lyrics on UOENO
There are times when rappers laydown a lyric and don’t fully realize the gravity of what exactly they are speaking about. That’s what happened to Miami Boss Rick Ross, and the truckloads of controversy he garnered on the lyrics of a verse he did for a rapper named Rocko. The song was called “UOENO”, and Rick’s lyrics were pretty much the equivalent of date rape. This is what he said. “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” These lyrics dogged him for months and he was even dropped temporarily from his Reebok sponsorship deal.
Nas’s Pink Suit Debacle
In 1996, everyone was waiting in rapt attention for the new Nas album to drop down from the heavens. He had already proved he was rap’s golden child with his debut album Illmatic, and the entire rap world was eager to see what the sequel would be. For the most part, the second album It Was Written delivered but there was one big misstep. For the video for the song “Street Dreams” they attempted to base it off of De Niro’s role in the movie Casino. That character wore flamboyant suits and Nas thought he could do the same for his video. But the Hip-Hop world is not that forgiving, and that wardrobe choice was a move he would regret for many years afterwards.
Ma$e Becoming a Preacher
One of the biggest rappers of the late 90’s Hip-Hop era was Ma$e. He was signed to Bad Boy records and he was pretty much the heir to the throne after the Notorious B.I.G. was killed. His debut album was released in 1997 and it went 4X Platinum and made him a very rich man. His next album in 1999 wasn’t as successful, and that year he stunned the rap world by announcing that he was quitting Hip-Hop and following a call from God. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it ended up being first stop in a series of quits and comebacks for the rapper. He returned to Hip-Hop in 2004 rapping about the same debaucherous life that he used to live. The comeback didn’t go so well and he disappeared and returned in 2010. The seesaw back and forth has been going on to the point where the rap world is pretty much sick of it. Perhaps he should try making up his mind and sticking with it.
Ghostface on Couple’s Therapy
Can we just admit that VH1 is the best channel at producing some of the trashiest shows on television? One of those shows is Couples Therapy. We wonder who came up with this idea. Find a bunch of washed up celebs have them air out their dirty relationship laundry for the whole world to see. That’s why it was so sad to see Ghostface Killah, one of the sharpest and most charismatic members of the Wu-Tang Clan appearing on Season 4 of the show. The Wu-Tang Clan is such a precious brand and having it be tarnished by a show like Couple’s Therapy was a sad scene to watch.
The Raekwon/Justin Bieber/ Kanye Collab
Yes people, this did happen. One of the most respected, hardcore street artists from New York, and a lead member of the Wu Tang clan actually got on a track with the Biebs. This happened in 2010 when Justin Bieber and Kanye West were going back and forth on Twitter about a remix for his hit song “Runaway Love.” Kanye suggested that Raekwon should hop on the track and the Wu Tang Chef thought it would be a good way to connect with the younger generation, so he obliged. The song wasn’t horrible or anything, it’s just that some musical lanes should NEVER cross paths – and the Wu-Tang and Bieber experiment is a perfect example of that.
Busta Rhymes / Swagger Wagon Ad
The words Busta Rhymes and Minivan should never appear in the same sentence together, no matter how old the NYC rapper gets. But sometimes in the quest to make buzzworthy viral videos, some lines are crossed that should never be tampered with. This year, Toyota made an attempt at a viral video that featured Busta Rhymes rapping alongside a suburban Caucasian family trying to make their Toyota van look cool. It didn’t quite work and it was almost as cringeworthy as the time when Mary J.Blige did that awful Burger King commercial singing about a chicken wrap. Sometimes these ideas should just be left in a brainstorm session.
Lil Kim’s “Alleged” Excessive Plastic Surgery
It’s a sad state of affairs when celebs think they have to physically alter their looks to remain young and popular. But that’s exactly what happens all the time; a prime example of that was all the commotion in the media about Renee Zellweger’s new look she debuted earlier this year. Lil Kim has been through something similar in recent years. Perhaps she thought that with all the competition coming up from younger female rappers like Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj and Angel Haze, she needed to stay forever young. She has often claimed that she’s never been under the knife, but the truth is there for everyone to see. The saddest thing about the Lil’ Kim saga is that she was such a beautiful girl to begin with.
Wyclef’s Sexy Birthday Pic
Social media might just spell the doom of all human existence. For some reason when people get on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, something happens and they temporarily lose all sense of decorum and good judgment. Take for example what Wyclef decided to do in 2012. He woke up on his birthday and he decided to share with the world how good he felt by posting a pic on Twitter. So he oiled himself up, threw on a Speedo and hopped on his Ducati motorcycle to take an elaborate picture. He probably felt really cool doing it, but once the pic hit the internet, the non-stop ridicule began. Sometimes its best to really give an idea some thought before proceeding.
Kanye West Bum-rushing Taylor Swift
We all know that Kanye isn’t one to bite his tongue when he has something on his mind. At this point, not hearing a rant from Kanye every few weeks about one thing or another would be considered an oddity. One of his most notorious and most unwarranted episodes was at the MTV VMA’s in 2009. That’s the time when he rushed the stage of the young pop singer Taylor Swift after she had just won for best female video of the year. He proceeded to grab the mic and rant about how Beyoncé should have won because she had one of the best videos of all time. He later had to do a long apology tour for that unexplainable outburst, but for Mr. West, it seems as though self-control is a really hard thing to master.
Cassidy’s Condom Style Video
In 2012, the song “Gagnam Style” by Psy was a global craze. You couldn’t go to any party without seeing some overly tipsy grownups trying to do the popular dance Psy made for the song. It even got to the point when some rappers tried to ride the wave and create some buzz for themselves. One of those ill-advised attempts was by Philadelphia rapper Cassidy. He made a remake of the song called “Condom Style” in which he rapped about how important it is to use protection during sexual intercourse. The message was definitely positively, but coming from a street rapper like Cassidy, the result was less than stellar.
The Canibus Notepad Fiasco
This is one of those Hip-Hop moments that you file in the “Yeah, that happened” category. The rapper Canibus was once known as the most lyrical and fierce rappers to ever touch a microphone. But then the years kept on passing by and it seems his skills evaporated into thin air. In 2012, he tried to get his respect back by doing a heavily publicized rap battle in Toronto with one of the headliners of the current battle scene, Dizaster. What unfolded was a mockery to Hip-Hop. Canibus forgot his rhymes and pulled out a notebook to recite his lyrics, and he still lost horribly. He later went on his Tumblr page and stated that he was abducted before the battle by human bloodsucking leeches that mistreated and tortured him. Surely that must all be true – you can’t make this kind of stuff up.
Snoop Dogg’s Instagram Dis
If there’s one thing that should never happen in Hip-Hop, it’s this: Legends and newbies should never spar back and forth with mindless Instagram beef. Well that’s exactly what happened earlier this year when Snoop and Iggy Azalea were hurling disses back and forth for all to see. Snoop started it off by posting a meme about how Iggy looks without makeup, and Azalea of course responded with angry responses of her own. The back and forth went on until elder statesman T.I. had to step in and broker a peace treaty. Wow, is this really the future of Hip-Hop? If so, it’s a sad, sad state of affairs.
The White Rapper Show
Some ideas sound good on paper, but they shouldn’t really ever be executed in real life. That’s what happened when the execs at VH1 decided to air a competition reality show called The (White Rapper) Show. It was hosted by MC Serch, and it revolved around 10 white rappers competing with each other for a grand prize of $100,000. The show may have had decent intentions but the actual execution of it was quite contrived and sophomoric. It only lasted one season and it never came back. Good riddance.
Drake’s Bathtub Hookah Shot
Toronto’s finest, the rapper known as Drake is undoubtedly one of the top names in the rap landscape. However, there’s a nagging little image problem about him being too “softcore” and just a tad cheesy. That issue came to light at the beginning of 2014 when he was put on blast for doing a certain photo shoot for a Rolling Stone cover feature. One of the shots showed the wealthy rapper in the bathtub of his LA mansion taking what looked like a bubble bath while he was smoking a hookah. He might have thought it was cool at the time, but for the entire rap world, it was proof once again that Drake is still more than a little corny.