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Remember Guns N’ Roses Racist And Homophobic ‘One In A Million’ Song?

Remember Guns N’ Roses Racist And Homophobic ‘One In A Million’ Song?

I know Guns N’ Roses is on tour this summer. I’ve been offered free tickets to see them….good ones too! But I just can’t get myself to go. I love their music. “Patience” and “November Rain” are two of the best song I’ve heard. But Guns N’ Roses “One In A Million” is a song that will forever give me nightmares, especially since I am part African-American and I am also gay.

“Maybe a greyhound could be my way/Police and niggers, that’s right/Get outta my way/Don’t need to buy none of your gold chains today,” Axl Rose sang in a raucous voice, and it only gets worse.
“Immigrants and fagots/They make no sense to me/They come to our country/And think they’ll do as they please/Like start some mini-Iran/Or spread some fucking disease/And they talk so many God damn ways/It’s all Greek to me”
You don’t have to be a social justice warrior to understand what’s wrong with this Guns N’ Roses song. I understand it was 1989, when homophobia and racism were more acceptable. I understand Guns N’ Roses was young and rebellious. But when I was brutally beaten by a skinhead gang, I had the lyrics about the “niggers, police, and gold chains” sang to me. If they knew I was gay, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this essay now.

I was 12-years old at the time, and I distinctively remember there being controversy, but not enough to ruin the band’s career. Despite what the debbie downers say, this country has moved forward. There is still racism and there is still homophobia. But there is no way a band would be able to get away with this today. According to Rolling Stone, Axel didn’t think he had anything to apologize for.

Axl Rose Smart
If minorities hated Axl Rose, it was certainly for a valid reason.
“The N-word? ‘Why can black people go up to each other and say ‘nigger,’ but when a white guy does it, all of a sudden it’s a big put-down?’ The f-word? ‘I’ve had some very bad experiences with homosexuals. … [But] I’m not against them doing what they do as long as they’re not forcing it upon me.”
I’m not going to give a huge lesson on why black people sometimes call others a “nigger” or why gay people call other homosexuals “faggots.” It’s the same reason why women sometimes call each other “bitches.” It takes away the pain of the word used against them and turns it into a non-pejorative. I can see why some black people or gay people don’t want to hear those words at all. But claiming it’s okay to use a word because the group it’s aimed at uses it as well is completely misguided.

I hope our readers who enjoy Guns N’ Roses were able to see them. I hold nothing against the fans, and I hope they got their money’s worth. But don’t ask me to see them. And please, don’t say, “Get over it!”

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What Happened To ‘Rolling Stone’?

What Happened To ‘Rolling Stone’?

In the 1970s, 1980s, and part of the 1990s, Rolling Stone was a music industry staple. If you made the cover of Rolling Stone, you basically “made it.” If your album received four stars from Rolling Stone, it was officially a good album. And if you were dissed by Rolling Stone, your PR manager had a lot of work to do.

Now, the magazine is just a shadow of itself. It’s no longer an important part of pop culture. PERHAPS IT SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN SO. It ends up that the magazine, under the direction of Jann Wenner, has always been a corporate shill. The Observer wrote about Wenner’s squelching of a negative review of Hootie and the Blowfish’s new album in 1996.

“Rolling Stone founder and editor Jann Wenner recently killed a negative review of the new Hootie and the Blowfish album, according to a source at the magazine. After that, he found another writer who would come up with a more palatable take on the band that sells million upon millions of albums.”

That source was veteran critic Jim Derogotis, who was soon fired from the magazine after he gave The Observer this following quote when asked if Jann Wenner was a Hootie fan.

“No, I think he’s just a fan of bands which sell eight and a half million million copies.”

Since then, there have been accusations of rigged Rolling Stone polls, pay-for-play reviews, and other things the magazine used to not be associated with. At least one of those accusations are true. Do you remember the album Working on a Dream by Bruce Springsteen from 2009? Don’t worry if you don’t; it received mostly negative reviews.

The 'Rolling Stone' five star review for Bruce Springsteen's critically panned album was indirectly purchased.
The ‘Rolling Stone’ five-star review for Bruce Springsteen’s critically panned album was indirectly purchased.

However, Rolling Stone gave the album five stars. This was after Sony Music agreed to pour money into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was facing money problems after many scandals (more on those in another article). As Slate attested in 2012, Rolling Stone had always been a shill for Bruce Springsteen. Most of it came out of a decades-long fanboy obsession Jann Wenner always had with Bruce. But with Working on a Dream, it was financial.

Let’s also never forget about the faux rape story Rolling Stone produced, “A Rape on Campus.” The article, written by former (for a reason) editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was problematic from the very beginning. Not only did Rolling Stone’s article insult true rape victims, but it insulted true journalists as well.

Rolling Stone still exists, but it has become an absolute joke. The only time Rolling Stone is taken seriously is when people talk about the serious decline of journalism over the past 15 years.

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