Oh, hip-hop – as you’ve become the dominant musical form in the Western world during the last century, so too have you spawned your share of scandals. The 00s were a particularly awful decade for hip-hop happenings, as big stars and B-listers alike fired shots, got sued, and went off to that big VIP room in the sky. Here’s our picks for the ten most insane hip-hop scandals of the decade.
10. Diddy Do Gun? – It’s right on the cusp of the Willenium, but the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy (hee hee hee) now formerly the artist known as Diddy (ha ha ha) (real name Sean Combs which just isn’t funny at all) CERTAINLY DID NOT kick off a decade of hip hop scandal by ABSOLUTELY NOT firing off a handgun in a crowded New York nightclub on December 27, 1999, making girlfriend Jenifer Lopez lose her shit and ushering in the Tupacalypse. No, the real fiend was protege Shyne, who ended up doing nearly a decade in prison despite Combs’ heroic alleged efforts to bribe his driver to take the fall for the shootings. Combs then excelled himself by hiring Johnnie L. Cochran Jr, being acquitted of all charges and coming up smelling of roses and banality. A shaky start to the new decade for the complete douchebag who would later declare “the P was getting between me and my fans”. Fans?
9. Agent X – If you’ve followed Heavy.com at all, you’ll know we have great affection for the horrible cracked-out mess that is DMX. It’s so hard to pick a moment for the guy his mother named Earl Simmons, what with his crazy basehead antics, MMA posturing and getting fucked up and laughing about Barack Obama’s mere name. But if we had to be pressed, it would be the point in 2004 when X decided he was an FBI Agent, tried to get his carjacking on then crashed a car straight into a goddamn airport. Police found a bag of crack and a billy club in the Xmobile, suggesting some sort of insane hybrid of Daredevil and the creepy thin guy you find pissing in an elevator at 4am. Oh X – we love your hard beats and crazy vocal attack, but your habit of starving pit bulls to death really has to stop.
8. Timbaland Outed As Talentless Fraud – If there was any justice in the world, someone would give Timothy Mosley shingles. He’s a boorish oaf and named after horrible footwear, true – but those aren’t hanging crimes, at least not yet. No, the really disgusting thing about Timbaland is he’s a fat, awful fraud, who sucks up other people’s talent and craps out inane backing tracks for desperate career relaunches (Nelly Furtardo, who are you kidding?). Yeah I said it Tim, come and get me! Sometime in the last 10 years, this awful waste of DNA took a liking to old Commodore 64 tracks… and all of a sudden, he’s come up with a track that sounds just like someone else’s track! When Mosley was called out on the uncanny resemblance between the beats to Furtardo’s 2007 snoozefest “Loose” (which he’d been selling as his “Block Party” ringtone for year previously) and “Acidjazzed Evening”, a track which predates them by some six years, he really unleashed his inner tool, straight at the metaphorical grills of demoscene musicians Janne Suni and Glenn Gallefoss: “It makes me laugh. The part I don’t understand, the dude is trying to act like I went to his house and took it from his computer. I don’t know him from a can of paint. I’m 15 years deep. That’s how you attack a king? You attack moi? Come on, man. You got to come correct. You the laughing stock. People are like, ‘You can’t be serious.’” We’ll come correct, Tim: you’ve got a face like a slapped fanny, your flow sounds like a dork mumbling through a jowl full of hamburger and all your friends are failed popstars. Gangsta!
7. Chris Brown Is “Confused” - Ah, Chris Brown. Chris Brown is “confused”. Chris Brown is puzzled that people don’t like him. Just how many braincells does it take to associate public scorn with beating your ex-girlfriend? At least one less than Chris Brown has. People “don’t want to see me do anything… they wanna see me kind of, basically in jail”, bemoans Chris, having pasted a young woman until her mouth filled with blood. In fairness, Brown has “accepted full responsibility”, ruling out poltergeist activity or brain-controlling parasites/mutants having taken any part in his taking fists to Rihanna’s face. You’re quite simply a dick, Chris Brown! After six months of blubbing croccodile tears at anyone who’ll listen to him, Brown had a major breakdown on Twitter, shortly followed by the dim-witted lad ragequitting the microblog service in truly epic fashion. “im tired of this shit. major stores r blackballing my cd” spluttered the Brown Battleship, possibly through an autotune module, “not stockin the shelves and lying to costumers. what the fuck do i gotta do…” Chris, I have a list of things you gotta do, and I’ll be happy to provide it to you should you decide to get in touch. By the way, Walmart called – and they said your crappy new album is overstocked and selling below expectations. Diss!
6. Mystikal Is Irredeemable - You can’t say “rap is terribly violent, misogynistic and male dominated” without “rapist”, and that leads us quite neatly to Mystikal, that guy who did “Shake Ya Ass” and all-round blight on humanity. Pumped up from the success of of having the Neptunes throw him a hit single and a string of guest spots, Mystikal (Michael Lawrence Tyler, real name fans!) decided to follow up with a spot of sexual battery. Luring his hairstylist to his home on July 3rd, 2002, Tyler and two associates subjected the woman to gang rape, using allegations of fraud as coercion. While he tried to wriggle his way out with a trumped up affidavit, Tyler was brought low by incredible hubris – he’d had the assault taped. Had he destroyed the tape? No, he’d retained it for his viewing pleasure. “The court is convinced that the defendant believes he is above the law and can take the law into his own hands”, said the trial judge – but some greasy legal maneuvering will see Tyler free early next year. Ick.
5. ODB Becomes One With The Force - Without a freak mutation to be able to thrive on hard drugs, Ol’ Dirty Bastard was never going to be long for this world. Sadly but inevitably, Dirty’s ticker stopped ticking on November 13, 2004, the result of an accidental overdose. How to remember Russel Jones, AKA Dirt McGirt, Dirt Dog, alias Joe Bananas, furthermore known as Big Baby Jesus? The insistent swagger of his signature track, “Shimmy”? The time he told us all “Y’all know they had the ODB locked down, right? Well, I’m here to tell you that they can’t keep me down. Now I’m free, and I’m out there like a bird flying around, so y’all better leave some birdseed on your windowsills, because I may be flying by your house”? When he informed us that “Dirt McGirt comes from Dirt McGirt Island. It’s a place that’s right off the block from the next island off of Batman Island. I can’t let you know exactly where it is––it’s a secret, you know? Wonder Woman told me not to say nothing”? What about the time he took two of his baker’s dozen of children to the welfare office in a stretch limo? In the end, though, OBD’s crack-besieged heart was made of gold, as evidenced by his risking life and limb to pull a young girl from a car wreck in 1998, so let’s give the last word to his mother: “My son, Russell Jones, passed away. To the public, he was known as Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but to me, he was known as Rusty, the kindest, most generous soul on earth. I appreciate all the support and prayers that I have received. Russell was more than a rapper, he was a loving father, brother, uncle, and most of all, son.”
Mourn ya tilI I join ya, ODB – unless I find a way to bring you back to life, which I am seriously considering.
4. The Worst Thing That Could Possibly Happen On PCP Happens – I like to make lists of things! Sometimes those might be Pokemon, or named swords! I have a list of the worst drugs, ever, and PCP is right at the top, just above heroin and jenkem. Big Lurch took PCP – and the horror of what he did transcends aspergers-based internet drug humor. After a night of smoking PCP with Thomas Moore, Lurch murdered Moore’s girlfriend Tynisha Ysais, eating portions of her face and lungs. Lurch was found bloodsoaked and staring at the sky, with a belly full of flesh that was not his own. Killing and eating a woman gave Lurch a sinister novelty, and It’s All Bad was released in 2004, tastefully depicting the cannibalistic murderer holding a human skull on a dining tray.
3. Jam Master Jay Assassinated - Without Run DMC, this list might not exist – it took the three guys with porkpie hats and no laces to kickstart the rap/rock crossover trend, push the concept of turntablism as a central element of a recording group, beat back Disco sampling stagnation and sell Hip-Hop to White America’s MTV-chasing youth. No rundown of rap game tragedy would be complete then, without a mention of the senseless murder of Jason “Jam-Master Jay” Mizel, the group’s seminal DJ. In October 2002 Jay was gunned down in his own Queens recording studio, allegedly for breaking an unofficial blacklist on a largely unknown Fifty Cent – a murder that remains open and unsolved today. Ironically, 50 Cent had already survived being shot nine times – an assassination attempt said to have been incited by Murder Inc’s hatred of Fiddy’s indiscreet “Ghetto Qu’ran”. It’s really hard to imagine a world without Jay, but it would probably have a lot more open silk shirts and weaksauce Sugar Hill rhymes and medallions. Thank you, Jay.
2.R. Kelly… Just R. Kelly - What can we say about R Kelly? We asked our lawyers, and they told us not much! We can tell you that R Kelly was found NOT GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES when it comes to allegations that he videotaped himself having sex with a 14 year old girl. R Kelly thinks it might have been his brother that did it! What we can say is that R Kelly has been one of the most consistently bland artists of an era, squirting out flat bilge like “ignition” to an adoring yet undiscerning public. Did we mention he DOESN’T have sex with children? We all thought R was boring – Jesus, were we wrong! We were wrong because in 2005 lauched “In The Closet” a sprawling, insane epic and episodic “hip-hopera” featuring infidelity, saphic love, Mexican standoffs, closets, more infidelity and incontinent midgets. Kelly’s dive into car-crash auterism lent him a fleeting semblance of interest, but pretty soon nobody cared again, because he is R Kelly.
1. Kanye West Does His Thing - What can you say about Kanye West that hasn’t already been said? He’s a hell of a producer who marches to the beat of his own drum and doesn’t have time for crap like homophobia in rap, but his habit for storming award shows at the drop of a hat and a self-regard that would make Narcissus blush have turned this force of nature into a laughing stock. Hell, even Obama is in on it! None the less, West is showing signs of a developing self awareness that might save us all, kind of like if the computer from War Games dressed like a douche with retardedly pointless glasses. Here’s Spike Jonze’s excellent We Once Were Fairytales, showing a very different side to the man – a side that doesn’t stroke its’ own pole while trying to steal your MTV award