XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this feature.


The history of hip-hop will always have controversy. Public conflict in this genre has always been a double-edged sword. From explicit songs like N.W.A's "F**k Tha Police" to Young Thug and Gunna being arrested for RICO charges, controversy has always been a selling point in hip-hop.

In 1990, 2 Live Crew's Banned in the USA was the first album in hip-hop to receive the now-standard black-and-white warning label design reading "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" following nationwide criticism from government officials. Arrests and protests occurred as a result of the group using their right to free speech. Decades later in 2018, a different kind of free speech was utilized when Pusha T took aim at Drake for "hiding a child" on the diss track "Story of Adidon." The news that Drizzy had a son he was keeping away from the world took over the news cycle.

In the presence of entertainment, the ideas of quarreling, mixed press and dispute are never far behind. For hip-hop, contention-creating talking points has always aided in the culture's development and could be considered one of the great contributors to the genre's evolution. Conflict in music has been around for years, however, rappers have often become part of the controversy both in and out of their rhymes.

Over the past 50 years, the genre has come with its fair share of newsworthy moments. Kanye West's rants, Tory Lanez shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Cam'ron's stance on no snitching, the deaths of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur and many more have been deemed famous and infamous moments. The game's favorite artists have had their fair share of scandalous and less-than-redeemable moments, from records deemed too dangerous for radio play to diss-tracks receiving nationwide recognition. Here are 20 of the most talked-about music scandals in hip-hop history.—Antonio Cooper

See Hip-Hop Scandals That Had Everyone Talking