Controversy in music has been around for decades.
From songs involved in plagiarism where an artist has nabbed the same bars or so, to music censorship and its subsequent murder – even to the calamities of live performances with the cynical attempts of miming, auto-tuning and generally being an arse to your fans while on stage – controversy in music is a popular topic of conversation.
And of course, with controversy, comes with popularity.
Now, whether that’s popularity that is hard-earned or merely popular because its popular, is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Is it as important as we first thought? Are making a scene for the benefit of ourselves or the musician?
Controversy of Culture: Biggie Smalls and Michael Jackson
Notorious B.I.G’s murder remains one of LA’s biggest unsolved homicides 20 years on. Michael Jackson’s controversy surrounding his paedophilic notion is unsolved on speculation and mere here-say, and remains one of the biggest unsolved controversial topics to a global star to date.
The controversy with Notorious B.I.G (Biggie Smalls) and Michael Jackson, has allowed for them to be within conversations, playlists and talking points for decades. Are they still present in our culture for their endless controversy surrounding a ugly drive-by, murder and paedophilic omissions, or is it simply for the marvel of their music?
I often wonder whether this controversy undoubtedly tarnishes the reputation of other like-minded artists and – overall tarnishes the music. Maybe not, maybe I’m being too cynical, here. But, whatever does happen to the name of Jackson in the coming years, I think it’s safe to say that we would still listen to his music …?
Controversy of Censorship: Nicki Minaj and Cardi B
The controversy of censorship plays a different story. When something arises as being wrong or unlawful, it makes people listen to their music more and more. You could argue that artists actively lavish this prospect and are nothing but controversial. For her lyricism, nudity, and questionable dress-sense, Nicki Minaj has been on the tail-end of controversy for the past ten years. And yet, it’s not stopped her progression, but more so, elevating her to one of the most influential female rappers in the past decade. But, is this for her controversy or is it for her utter creativity and genuine talent when it comes to writing music? I may be a tad bias, but I may go for the former with this one …
The Controversy of Rebecca Black’s Friday
We can’t discuss the controversy of popular music without talking about this one. Deemed as the “worst video ever made”, it’s controversy and instant hatred for the whiny singing, and hideous melody-making, catapulted it to instant notoriety. Still, it didn’t stop her music career from surging, grabbing 150 million views via YouTube and 11 million plays on Spotify (despite not being added to Spotify a year later) . Making multiple profits, Black lavished at the prospect of being one of those hated music singers and joined the queue. With the “if you can’t beat em, join em” mantra in the back of her mind, she has gone on to make remixes of the very same hated song that was first published 9 years ago. No shame, eh? She’s really pulling on the heart-strings of nostalgia in music, that’s for sure.