WHICH CAME FIRST – 1998
The Chicken and the Egg were pioneers of the gangsta pantry movement, and their infamous rivalry dominated the street corners and larders of the late 80s. In an unprecedented turn, the two artists suspended their animosity and entered the studio together in 1988, resulting in the highly lucrative single “Which Came First?” The subsequent joint tour was cut short in a dispute over billing order.
WINE COUNTRY – 2002
“Wine Country” exploded in popularity several weeksafter its release when a video surfaced featuring singer-songwriter Sylvester “Pels” Pelham pouring a bottle of Charles Shaw merlot onto an allegedly underage woman in a Sonoma Valley bed and breakfast. Pelham was arrested, but all charges were dropped when his lawyer convinced a jury that the vocalist would never purchase a bottle of “Two
THE REASON WHY WE CAN’T DO IT – 1991
“The Reason Why We Can’t Do It” was lauded by the music industry for bringing the heated and controversial subject of incest to the forefront of hip-hop. “Everyone knew this kind of Flowers in the Attic shit was going down, but nobody was talking about it,” Paprika asserted in an incisive 1991 Rolling Stone interview. “It was time to speak out.”
LOST IN AUSTEN – 1997
When “Lost in Austen” was first performed during third period English at PS 308 in Brooklyn, no one suspected it would incite the class-war now known as “The Fictional British Landed Gentry Riots,” in which three 8th graders were hospitalized after being assaulted with copies of Middlemarch. Anthony Little was assumed to be the ringleader, until it was revealed that he’d spent the melee in the cafeteria, quietly reading Northanger Abbey.
GIRL, I WANN FUCK YOU (BUT I DON’T LOVE JESUS) – 2006
¬Originally considered a filler track on rapper Skittlez’s debut album Songz, “Girl, I Wanna Fuck You (But I Don’t Love Jesus)” achieved global notoriety when it was publicly condemned by Pope Benedict XVI during his 2006 Easter address. Skittlez, raised Catholic, has stated several times that he himself was unaware of the double-meaning of many of the song’s more inflammatory lyrics, saying “Sometimes I just like to put words together in a way that sounds good, y’know?” (Vibe, May 2006)
DOWN WITH AN ELF – 1993
An instant classic upon its 1993 release, “Down With An Elf” sparked massive rumors within the hip-hop community regarding the true identity of the song’s “elf.” Producer Suge Knight claimed to know “for a fact” that the track was about Warwick Davis, but MC Crackalack never confirmed or denied this, and his death in a 1996 drive-by shooting meant that the truth was forever buried with him.