Last week, New Orleans-born rap superstar Lil Wayne made headlines coast-to-coast for uttering five words: “I don't like New York.” While the comments were in an interview immediately following a free show he was performing in the city, his frustration for being arrested and jailed there in the past seemed enough to permanently sour his taste. Also soured was New York State Senator Malcolm Smith, who held a press conference in Times Square demanding Wayne apologize for the comments.
While Wayne's yet to respond, it's important to note that he is hardly the first artist in any genre to speak ill of the home of hip-hop. In the event he does apologize, here's five more artists from whom Senator Smith might demand apologies for writing songs about how the Big Apple sucks ass.
Randy Newman – “I Love L.A.” 1983
Contrary to popular belief, The West Coast-East Coast rivalry in music largely predates the rise of gangsta rap in the 90s. While not the first, perhaps the most blatant shots fired were in Randy Newman's “I Love L.A.” Here, Newman goes much further than Wayne, opening the song with (a possible reference to some pointed words about California in the classic showtune “The Lady is a Tramp”) “I hate New York City, it's cold and it's damp / and all the people dress like monkeys.”
Tweedy Bird Loc – “Fuck the South Bronx Nigga, This is Compton” 1992
The aforementioned East-West rivalry in rap began heating up in 1991 when rap artist and grand larcenist Tim Dog recorded “Fuck Compton.” The next year, Compton's Tweedy Bird Loc responded with a dis of his own. While turn about is fair play in terms of a rap battle, it does take a few listens to get past the irony of a rap song having “Fuck the South Bronx” in its title.
Tha Dogg Pound – “New York, New York” 1995
Another hip-hop assault on the city that never sleeps came from Death Row's Dogg Pound. Using the hook from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's “New York New York,” the verses themselves don't make any particular mentions or allusions to New York. However, the video's imagery of Snoop kicking down a skyscraper is about as strong of a visual New York dis as you can get. Damn, special effects in music videos ain't what the used to be.
Slapshot – “Fuck New York” 2005
Boston hardcore band Slapshot wear their hometown pride proudly, and few Bostonian traditions are as storied as badmouthing New York. The band celebrated their twentieth anniversary together with their 2005 album Tear It Down, boasting a little ditty called “Fuck New York,” wishing light-hearted, good-natured malice on the Big Apple and a veritable laundry list of its icons.
Paloma Faith – “New York” 2009
In her 2009 single “New York,” English singer-songwriter and actress Paloma Faith explored the heartbreak of losing a lover to a far away city. Speaking of NYC as if it were a girl, she states that the 5 boroughs “poisoned his sweet mind.” It's a horrible position to be in, but “poison” seems a little extreme and makes it sound as if Ms. Faith has never had the joy of a true New York bagel at three in the morning on week night.