The Time Axl Rose Defended His Racist And Homophobic Lyrics In Guns N’ Roses’ ‘One In A Million’
There’s no doubt that Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose is widely regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in music history, however, his career music career that spans over nearly four decades is also filled with countless controversial moments thanks to his notorious reputation for being involved in fights both physically and verbally.
While Axl Rose’s infamous name is often involved with feuds over personal matters with other musicians, he also once drew major attention with one of Guns N’ Roses tracks named ‘One in a Million’ which was the eighth track on the album ‘G N’ R Lies’ and was released on November 30, 1988.
The song was written by Rose and is based on his experience of getting hustled in a Greyhound bus station when he first came to Los Angeles, however, the lyrics are far different than just his experiences since it’s filled with offensive statements. Let’s dig deeper into the lyrics of the song that are often considered racist and homophobic and the debatable reaction of Rose to the accusations.
Axl Rose Defends The Offensive Lyrics Of ‘One In A Million’
As some of you might know, ‘One In A Million’ drew heavy criticism for having both racist and homophobic lyrics which were pointed towards people of color, policeman, immigrants, and homosexual people with vulgar language. The track carries undeniably arguable statements which include accusations to immigrants and gay people as if they carry diseases from their country to the United States as well as using the N-word while referring to black people.
Here is a portion from the offensive lyrics:
“Police and niggers, that’s right
Get outta my way
Don’t need to buy none of your
Gold chains today
Now don’t need no bracelets
Clamped in front of my back
Just need my ticket, ’til then
Won’t you cut me some slack”
As well as these:
“Immigrants and faggots
They make no sense to me
They come to our country
And think they’ll do as they please
Like start some mini-Iran
Or spread some fucking disease
And they talk so many goddamn ways
It’s all Greek to me”
During an interview with Rolling Stone way back in 1988, frontman Axl Rose stated that there’s nothing wrong with using the N-word since black people also use the word while they refer to each other as well. Furthermore, Guns N’ Roses singer stated that not be able to use that word creates boundaries which is something he’s against as well as stating that the word itself doesn’t necessarily mean black in the first place.
Here is what Rose said during the interview with Rolling Stone:
“Why can black people go up to each other and say, ‘nigger,’ but when a white guy does it all of a sudden it’s a big putdown? I don’t like boundaries of any kind. I don’t like being told what I can and what I can’t say. I used the word ‘nigger’ because it’s a word to describe somebody that is basically a pain in your life, a problem. The word ‘nigger’ doesn’t necessarily mean black.”
On top of this unapologetic statement, Guns N’ Roses frontman also opened up about the lines regarding the immigrants and stated that it includes the people who come from other countries such as Iran, China, and Pakistan and have jobs, then they treat others as if it’s them that don’t belong here. In addition to this, he also revealed that he used to word faggot after experiencing bad situations with gay people one of who even attempted rape which must have been the reason why Rose wrote those aggressive lines.
Here is what Rose said:
“A lot of people from countries like Iran, Pakistan, China, Japan, et cetera, get jobs in these convenience stores and gas stations. Then they treat you like you don’t belong here. I’m not against them doing what they want to do as long as it’s not hurting anybody else and they’re not forcing it upon me.”
Despite being one of the most controversial rock songs of all time, ‘One in a Million’ has more than 2.5 million views on Guns N’ Roses’ official YouTube page, however, it seems like the band didn’t want to deal with more feuds under the song as fans are banned from leaving a comment under the track as well.
You can listen to ‘One in a Million’ below.