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Most Controversial & Banned Music Videos of All Time

N.W.A., “Straight Outta Compton”

The 1988 Rupert Wainwright-directed video features depictions of gang sweeps by the police. After the FBI condemned “F–k Tha Police,” the video was banned from MTV.

N.W.A. quickly became not just the world’s most dangerous group but also one of its most intriguing,” Rolling Stone reported.

“The video ain’t half of a half of what go on for real. It’s just a little sweep, no guns. MTV’s into all that crazy devil-worshipping s–t… To me there’s more violence on a motherf–king cartoon than in our music. Little kid see a cartoon character with a gun, he going to want to carry a gun, right? GI Joe, all that s–t. But they aren’t even playing our video on the MTV rap show,” said MC Ren.

M.I.A., “Born Free”

No stranger to inciting controversy, M.I.A. incited global furor with her Romain Gavras-directed 2010 clip.

The extremely intense video depicts military brutality and a genocide against red-haired people, and is presented as a nine-minute short film. The clip was inspired by the killing of Tamil males by the Sri Lankan Army filmed on mobile phones in Sri Lanka, some of which had been broadcast by news outlets. It faced a rare YouTube fan in the U.S. and the U.K., with critics split between praise and criticism.

“It’s amazing to me that is the state we’re in today – people are more moved by something synthetic than something real. And as an artist that’s the decision you have to make – whether to be real or synthetic,” she said to Mondomix.

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