VH1 reminds me of Barack Obama. I’ll lose hope for months on end but then it will deliver a special (or two) that reminds me why I messed with it in the first place. Such was Sunday night’s premieres of “40 Most Shocking Moments in Hip-Hop” and “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation” (How long before they make the same movie about ecstasy?).
As entertaining as the “most shocking” moments were, I had a hard time believing there weren’t moments more shocking than Sir Mix A Lot making a raunchy video or Gucci Mane getting a tattoo. In honor of the special, here’s ten things VH1 might’ve missed (in no particular order):
- Gucci Mane kills someone. Sure VH1 thought it was shocking for Gucci to get an ice cream cone tattoo on his face but did you know he killed a man? After Young Jeezy allegedly put a price on Gucci’s chain, some people took it seriously. A woman lured Gucci to her place and armed men attempted to rob him and his associates. Instead of the almost cliche “I got shot” story, he was able to free himself and his crew shot their way out of the house. Dear VH1, how does this not win?
- Big Lurch eats woman’s lungs. Even though this didn’t make the list either, it probably answers the previous question. Big Lurch was high on PCP one night. He decided his female roommate was possessed by demons and chose the only logical option, stab her in the chest and rip out her lungs. When the police found him, he was running through the street, naked and covered in blood. The girl was found with tooth marks on her lungs and face. A medical examination found traces of flesh that weren’t Lurch’s in his stomach.
- 50 Cent gets shot nine times. Apparently VH1 is the only entity that forgot 50 Cent was shot nine times. They remembered him losing 50 pounds, but I digress. Not long after 50 released “How to Rob” and offended just about every emcee in the industry, he was ambushed and took nine bullets, including one in the face. He lost a wisdom tooth and the shooting put a slur in his speech. It also helped propel his image and furthered the trend that being shot is a good career move.
- Slick Rick almost deported. Slick Rick was huge during the “Golden Age” of hip hop but at the height of his fame, he was convicted for shooting his cousin (who later admitted to having Rick shot) and a bystander. He served time in prison and was targeted for deportation up until 2008, when he got a pardon from NY Governor David Patterson.
- C-Murder commits, wait for it, murder. In perhaps hip hop’s sadly least ironic moment, C-Murder was convicted and sentenced to life for second degree murder. Allegedly he killed a 16-year-old fan in a club. The case was retried and in the meantime, C-Murder pleaded no contest to attempted murder charges from a shooting in another club. In 2009, he was found guilty and sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment.
- Ghostface Killah’s gangsta > your favorite rapper. Most people don’t remember that Ghostface had to wear a mask in early Wu-Tang Clan videos because the police were looking for him. That didn’t stop certain artists from dissing him. Ghostface broke Mase’s jaw at the height of the shiny suit era. In what might be an even more infamous incident, Ghostface or a member from his entourage allegedly pushed 50 Cent down a flight of stairs after “How to Rob” came out.
- Mystikal goes to jail. Do you remember how big Mystikal was back in 2000 and 2001? He was the southern anger management problem counterpart to Ja Rule’s over sensitive Tupac wannabe run of hits. In 2003, Mystikal was convicted of sexual battery and extortion. Allegedly, he and his two bodyguards forced a woman to give head and then accused her of stealing $80,000 in checks. There was even a tape of the sexual assault. Mystikal was sentenced to six years in prison. To add insult to injury, he was convicted of misdemeanor tax offenses in 2006. Mystikal was released in 2010 and had to register as a sex offender.
- Eminem’s racist tape. In the early 2000s, Eminem got in a feud with The Source and its owner Benzino for giving The Marshall Mathers LP a 2/5 mics rating. Lyrically, the battle was a landslide, with Eminem ripping Benzino apart in every way you could think of. However, Benzino had one good punch in him. The Source released an Eminem tape from the late 80s called “Foolish Pride”. It was recorded after he broke up with a black girlfriend and Eminem even called the girl a nigger on it. While it’s hard to see him as a racist based on the company he keeps now, the tape managed to hurt Eminem’s image and score a few points for Benzino. However, the release of the old tape and the obvious bias in ratings ultimately hurt The Source’s credibility more than anything else.
- Hip hop vs the police. Hip hop is the music of the youth and chances are, if you’re young, not white and just got your driver’s license, you’re not a big fan of the bacon patrol. NWA famously received a letter from the FBI, who took offense to their classic anthem “Fuck the Police”. Time Warner pulled Ice-T’s record “Cop Killer” off his group Body Count’s album after immense political pressure. Mac Dre went to prison for five years for refusing to snitch on his friends for armed robbery, even though he wasn’t personally involved. However, the undisputed winner is Tupac Shakur, who shot off duty police officers and had charges dropped because one of the officers lied about firing at his vehicle. Another reason why he was one of the realest personalities in the game.
- RIP Nate Dogg, Mac Dre, ODB, Proof, Guru, Pimp C, Big Pun, Big L, DJ Screw, Scott La Rock, Cowboy and other fallen soldiers. VH1 obviously didn’t have time to include every dead rapper on the list but these losses were shocking blows to the hip hop community. They will all be sorely missed.