There’s nothing like hearing a song come on the radio or flicker across a Spotify playlist that you haven’t encountered in a while, and realizing, “Was this song always this offensive?” The answer: Yes, it probably was. Standards have changed quite a bit in terms of what references the culture at large deems offensive in its hit songs, from casual homophobia in pop songs from Katy Perry and Taylor Swift to the jaw-dropping lyrical content of some Rolling Stones classics. (Not to mention the whole recent “Baby It’s Cold Outside” uproar.) Below, find a list of songs that, if released today, would almost certainly ignite a scandal. 1. “Kung Fu Fighting “by Carl Douglas, 1974 Choice lyric: “There was funky Billy Chin and little Sammy Chung / He said ‘Here comes the big boss, let’s get it on.’ ” Why it wouldn’t fly today: Perhaps the song was just trying to celebrate the ancient art of kung fu. But its lyrics about “funky Chinamen from funky Chinatown” with stereotypically Asian-sounding last names isn’t exactly a nuanced appreciation of the culture. 2. “Brown Sugar” by the Rolling Stones, 1971 Choice lyric: “Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields / Sold in… Read full this story
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