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KXNG Crooked – Axl Rose

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Here’s a new one from KXNG Crooked that flips what was at the time, and likely still is, the most controversial lyric in the extensive Guns N’ Roses catalog for its chorus:

Police and Niggers (that’s right)
Get out of my way
Don’t need to buy none of your
Gold chains today
I don’t need no bracelets
Clamped in front of my back

“One In A Million”, G N’ R Lies, 1988

I’m Black and I loved Guns N’ Roses in the 80’s and honestly I still do. Axl Rose, who wrote the song, has stated in interviews that the lyric in question was inspired by an incident during which he was robbed by some Black kids. The song also contains language that is wildly homophobic and anti-immigrant. I didn’t grasp it at the time, but in a way it’s a perfect lyrical representation of the White American Male’s sense of entitlement. Poor Axl just wanted all of these “others” to leave him alone or leave “his” country altogether.

I’ve read that these lyrics created a rift within the band, but I was always baffled as to why Slash, whose mother is Black, didn’t put up more of a protest over including it on the album. In subsequent years, and despite all of his talents as a lead singer, Axl revealed himself to be quite the fuck boy in a number of different ways. I used to skip “One In A Million” when I would listen to G N R Lies, but when I’ve played to it in recent years, I let it ride right through. I actually think it’s a pretty good song, in spite of its reprehensible ideas. Plus, karma has a name and that name is Chinese Democracy.

But I say all that to say that I love what Crooked did with the lyrics here, flipping them on their head and using them to illustrate the seemingly insurmountable odds that the Black man in America faces every day. He’s joined by Erik Tandy on the Jonathan Hay produced cut.

Spotted: 2DBZ

Previously: KXNG Crooked – If I Was Dre


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