These days, the music industry is way different than it was even ten years ago. The internet has changed everything and people are consuming their music online. Music stores are largely becoming obsolete, so one of the main ways musicians earn their money is the old fashioned way: performing live shows in front of their fans. But even this isn’t the easiest thing to do. There are times when performers come across some hostile crowds and end up getting booed. No one likes to see that, but it does happen, and a lot more than you think it does. In the following feature, we discuss the 12 popular rappers who shockingly got booed on stage at one point in their careers.
12 50 Cent
There’s no doubt about it, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is one of the wealthiest individuals in the realm of hip-hop. Forbe’s recently reported that he has an estimated net worth of $150 million – very impressive indeed. However in 2004, while performing at the Reading Festival in the UK with his G-Unit crew, some people started throwing bottles on stage. 50 Cent responded by hurtling some choice words at the crowd, and this caused them to throw even more bottles. Fiddy eventually had to flee and a harsh serenade of boos followed.
Toronto rapper Drake is definitely living the life. Apart from having a base in Canada, he also owns an insane mansion in his adopted home, California. This state is also where he was once booed in 2010. He was performing in San Jose and in the midst of all the excitement, he shouted out the wrong California city. He yelled out L.A. instead of San Jose and the crowd caught on instantly and started booing. But he noticed his mishap and moved forward like a pro. The rest of the concert transpired without any more issues and everyone had a great time.
10 Kanye West
Even though Kanye West is one of the most well known rappers in hip-hop right now, he has still been booed more than once in his career. One of the times was in 2011 when he was on the Watch The Throne tour in New Jersey. While performing, the crowd broke out into a spontaneous “Ho-Va” chant to serenade Jay-Z. Jay then tried to get the crowd to chant “Kan-Ye” but they didn’t acquiesce and proceeded to boo Kanye West instead. Sounds like a very biased crowd, don’t you agree?
9 Rick Ross
The rapper Rakim is widely considered as one of the game changers in the field of rap. He is a lyrical genius and his confident rhyme style and New York bravado on the mic were the main inspirations for rappers like Nas and Kendrick Lamar. In 2009, Rick Ross appeared at a show in NYC featuring Rakim as the headliner. Apparently, the people amassed weren’t big fans of Ross’s drug & luxury raps and they proceeded to boo him mercilessly as soon as the Miami rapper got on stage.
8 Nicki Minaj
There is one ironclad rule of live performances that always holds true – no matter how big of a superstar you think you might be. That rule is: Don’t be late and don’t keep your fans needlessly waiting. That’s what Nicki Minaj did in 2012 when she appeared an hour late to the “T in the Park” concert in Scotland in 2012. Not only did she arrive an hour late, but she only performed for 30 minutes. Of course, the boos and jeers rained down for her inconsiderate behavior. This is one case in which she definitely deserved that harsh treatment.
7 Busta Rhymes
6 Lil Wayne
There are times when rappers get themselves in trouble during a live show for forgetting the exact state and locality where they are performing. This happened to the rapper Lil Wayne in 2011. One of the songs he performed during his set was “Green & Yellow”. It was a track he recorded as an ode to the Green Bay Packers. Chicago happens to be the home of The Chicago Bears and they absolutely hate the Packers. Obviously the crowd wasn’t happy, and they booed the dreadlocked rapper for his misstep.
5 Lauren Hill
When you think about the biggest rise and fall stories in the hip-hop game, one of the names you have to mention is Lauren Hill. As a young rapper, she released the exemplary debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill that earned five Grammy awards. But her career has been marred by all kinds of issues and she has never been able to regain that status. In 2012, she was scheduled to perform at a show in Dallas. She showed up almost two hours late and ended up ranting during most of the show about how many haters she has. The crowd ran out of patience and started booing. They also yelled out, “Shut up and Sing!”
4 Missy Elliott
In the halftime show at the most recent Super Bowl, Missy Elliott performed as a guest of Katy Perry and she absolutely tore the house down and got rave reviews. However at the London Wireless Festival in 2010, it wasn’t so smooth. She appeared 15 minutes late for her show and her dancers were wearing Adidas gear that brandished the German National flag. She didn’t know that a week earlier, England was kicked out of the World Cup by Germany and the fans were still very sore about this defeat. This situation led to the fans booing her for her oblivious faux pas.
The late great Notorious B.I.G is one of the most loved rappers of all time. But the truth is, even he got booed one time by a tough New York crowd. This happened way back in 1992, when Biggie was opening for a loved underground rap group called Black Moon. This was before he blew up and became a huge star. At this particular time, he was still on his ascendancy and the crowd really didn’t take to him too well. They ended up serenading him with a chorus of boos. It’s true what they say; if you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere.
2 Slick Rick
The rapper Slick Rick is one of the elder statesmen of hip-hop. He started so many trends in Hip-Hop. In the late eighties, he was one of the first emcees to really kickoff the “bling” trend by wearing tons of gold jewelry. The old school rapper was still booed at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2012. He was booked to play the half time of a Brooklyn Nets game and his set got booed because quite frankly, he wasn’t that good. Even when you’re a legend, the boo-birds can still come out and get you.
1 OJ da Juiceman
Rappers often encounter some hostile crowds when they travel away from their home region to perform live shows. Atlanta rapper OJ da Juiceman is a star in the south, but when he ventured up north in 2009, he didn’t fare too well. He was performing at B.B. King Blues Club in NYC in 2009 and his regional hits didn’t go down too well with the tough New Yorker crowd. The crowd eventually lost their patience and unceremoniously booed him off the stage.