The Guns N’ Roses Song That Led To A Global Outrage

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Not every song lands the right message regarding the public’s reaction. There have been countless songs that suffered significant backlashes within the rock scene. The apparent track that comes to mind that received the most criticism is ‘One in a Million’ by Guns N’ Roses. Although the song came out in 1988 and decades have gone by since its initial release, it is still known for its racist and homophobic references.

Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose‘s musical talents are undeniable, but his career spanning nearly four decades is a compilation of controversial moments. He is not only infamous for getting involved in fights with other musicians over personal issues but also for his controversial opinions on social issues and politics. One of those instances where he drew significant negative attention to himself was with one of Guns N’ Roses’ tracks named ‘One in a Million.’

Why Is Guns N’ Roses’ ‘One In A Million’ Considered A Vulgar Song?

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Axl Rose doesn’t have a clean slate regarding social issues and politics. He would go on extremely offensive rants during concerts. During one of the band’s previous shows, Rose even claimed to be ‘pro-heterosexual’ and denounced LGBTQIA+ members and allies. It should come as no surprise, then, that he wrote GN’R’s most controversial song.

‘One In A Million,’ the eighth track from the ‘G N’ R Lies’ album, made headlines for inciting racism and homophobia. The lyrics of the song, such as ‘Police and niggers, that’s right / Get out of my way,’ and ‘Immigrants and faggots / They mean nothing to me,’ were inspired by his experience of getting hustled in a Greyhound bus station when he first moved to Los Angeles.

The lyrics are a direct dig toward people of color, police officers, immigrants, and homosexual people with vulgar and offensive language. This type of language might not seem wrong for Rose since he came to L.A. from Indiana, where a particular kind of community surrounded him. However, most people heavily criticized the lyrics full of slurs and jokes about people’s ethnic backgrounds.

The debate surrounding the song went on for a long time. Eventually, in 2018, Guns N’ Roses announced that they decided to exclude ‘One in a Million’ in their 2018 box-set reissue of ‘Appetite for Destruction.’ The decision was later clarified by the band’s guitarist Slash as an unanimous one.

You can listen to ‘One In A Million’ below.