The Greatest Musician-Talk Show Showdowns of All Time

Last week, rapper and alleged activist 2 Chainz (pronounced 'Twooooo Chaaaaaaainz') appeared on Nancy Grace for a debate with the titular host over the legalization of marijuana. While you've undoubtedly seen this creeping on your Facebook feed, we can assure you this wasn't an Onion article or some beautiful fever dream. This really happened. And it was glorious.

It seems every few years, an outspoken musician gets booked on a talk show and it becomes a cultural event. Magic happens. The best of these moments have become treasured legendary moments and remain preserved in memes for generations to come. It is in salute to these broadcast classics that we bring you The Greatest Musician Talk Show Showdowns of All Time.


Nancy Grace vs. 2 Chainz 2015
Yes, we just talked about this, but let's talk about this some more. Adorned with the hashtag #Pot2Blame, Grace attempted to bring her brash approach to making her point about the dangers of marijuana and its potentially dire effects in the hands of irresponsible, and Chainz calmly ghostbusted catch-all scare tactics. Whether you agree with marijuana's legalization or not, there's something to be said for how well 2 Chainz diffused the allegedly “feisty” former prosecutor.

The Wu-Tang Clan on The Daily Show 2014
As longtime Wu-devotees know, getting the entire Clan together in one place is a rare occurrence. The last time the original Clan was together, 2004's Rock the Bells concert, it was a few short months before Ol' Dirty Bastard's death. Since then, the group's inner-turmoils have risen and fallen and even when working on music together, we never physically got much of seeing them together in the same place. That's why last year's appearance of the eight surviving members, and Cappadonna, was so special. Funny, poignant and at times even inspiring, the group's 20th anniversary together remains a great piece of music history and a uniquely positive entry on our list.

Jello Biafra and Tipper Gore on Oprah 1990
It's rare a musician gets to confront and air out their grievances with someone they have a problem with on national television. When this problem has lead to their own legal issues, it's even rarer. At the top of the rarity chart is when this legal problem could have dire widespread ramifications for the industry as a whole. That's what was at stake in the two appearances Jello Biafra made on Oprah with Parents Music Resource Center head Tipper Gore. Having been on trial for his former band Dead Kennedys' Frankenchrist album, Biafra got to question Gore about her “I mean, I'd like to take credit for it…” quote to her face, including pulling out the newspaper the offending quote took place in.

Frank Zappa on Crossfire 1986
But it was in the mid-80s, when the debate about parental warning on music started. It was also the early days of cable television, when news shows were still figuring themselves out where we got Crossfire. On a memorable episode that has survived via bootlegs almost 30 years later, Frank Zappa debated conservative John Lofton on whether or not there should be a Government censor board for music. It's crazy to think at one point in our nation's history people thought songs about incest were cause of concern enough to devote preciosu broadcast minutes, but thanks in part to Zappa's efforts here, we seem to have grown out of it.

Cam'ron on The O'Reilly Factor 2003
A moment that should be preserved in the annals of broadcast history, everyone knows exactly where they were the first time that they saw rapper Cam'ron on The O'Reilly Factor. Joined by Dame Dash and a school principle, it might be the most quoted television segment in internet history. Debating whether or not rap music has a negative effect on children, Cam brings his trademark irreverence into the heart of Fox News just as political tensions in America were reaching their zenith. Birthing phrases like “U MAAAAD” and “Marilyn Manson Jumpoff,” it remains a classic for the ages.

See also:
The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene
The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene
The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List

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