1. Drop Them Bars, No Really…Drop ‘EmSource:Getty
For decades, students have protested against the injustices of economics, politics and wars on their college campuses. By the mid-2000s, crusades against sexist and violent lyrical content also began to take place when popular rappers were being scheduled and paid, to perform some of those questionable top ten hits. Here are some of the notable campaigns of the people vs. the rapper.
2. Spelman Students vs. Nelly (2004)Source:Getty
Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video was undoubtedly misogynistic. Women were seen in barely-there string bikinis and the chorus included that “It must be the a$$, because it ain’t your face…” But when he tried to initiate a bone marrow drive at the all-Black women’s Spelman College for his then-sick sister Jackie, students protested solely because of the video. The drive was uneventful and she passed away in 2005.
3. UMD vs. Soulja Boy (2009)Source:Getty
Soulja Boy had a sleeper hit with his first radio single “Crank That.” But the Kidz Bop sounding beat nearly overshadowed the lyrical content that was actually disrespectful towards its female listeners. (“Superman that ho”? Eww). When he was chosen to perform at the University of Minnesota Duluth, ten students campaigned outside of his sold-out show, lambasting the student body and school for supporting his music.
4. Rick Ross Gets Dropped By Reebok (2013)
“Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” Because of those heartless lyrics about sexing up a drugged up woman, women’s groups protested against Ross and demanded that Reebok drop him as a spokesperson. The mega athletic brand listened, the rapper lost his contract and had to deliver a mea culpa for his rape culture content.
5. Harvard University vs. Tyga (2013)
Tyga scored his first top ten hit and signature single with the strip club anthem “Rack City” in 2013. But when he was scheduled to perform at the annual Yardfest show at Harvard U., over 2,000 signatures were gathered in a petition against him due to misogynistic content. Tyga remained on the bill and performed at the event, but because of the heat stemming from the Ross protest, Tyga definitely felt the burn.
6. Dartmouth University vs. ASAP Rocky (2013)Source:Getty
Rocky hasn’t been known to be too misogynistic or violent in his work, but when he was set to perform at Dartmouth University’s Green Key event, a Change.org petition appeared to get him off the roster. It began with 32 signatures and interestingly, one the campaigns reasons against him was because he “perpetuated male hypersexuality.”
7. USC vs. Iggy Azalea (2014)Source:Getty
Many White artists have succeeded from hip-hop and R&B, like Iggy Azalea. She was noticeably silent at the beginning of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and as a result, people began to call her out. 30 USC students in particular even staged a “die-in” at Azalea’s free concert at their college as response to her delayed condolences and activism. The show went on but she popped off on Twitter.
8. Princeton University vs. Big Sean (2015)
As much as we love Big Sean, he has definitely rapped some highly sexist lyrics in both his mixtapes and major label LPs. After he was scheduled to perform for a spring concert at Princeton this year, two undergrads did their homework and promptly began a petition against the rapper for his content. He hasn’t responded and the Ivy League claims the protest was too late, but so far, 500 students are anti-Sean.
9. Waka Flocka Flame vs. Univ. of Oklahoma (2015)
This actually was a rare occasion in which a rapper turned the tables on a student body and cancelled his own show. When a leaked camera phone clip of SAE frat boys yelling a racist chant on a bus, Waka Flocka joined the backlash against the fraternity and voiced his disappointment over the situation. He had actually performed at the university before but quickly said deuces to an upcoming show there.
10. Kean University vs. Common (2015)
Common is an Oscar winner now, but it doesn’t mean his political stances aren’t still being used against him. After Kean University announced him as the commencement speaker for this year’s ceremonies, state officials said that he wrote a tribute to Black Panther fugitive Assata Shakur, an enemy of the state (literally) since 1979 for an alleged crime she committed in 1973. Kean quickly retracted the offer.