Recently, Lil Nas X sparked widespread controversy with the release of his music video for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)". The video shows the rapper descending to hell using a strip bar and giving the Devil a lustful dance. Lil Nas X is no stranger to viral moments, and controversy in music videos is not a rare occurrence in the music world - in fact, it's what puts a lot of artists in the spotlight. Whether it's overtly sexual performances or the condemnation of the Catholic Church, here are some of the most famous controversial music videos of recent decades.
Madonna, “Like A Prayer” (1989)
To say Madonna's music video for her '80s flagship song "Like A Prayer" was controversial would be an understatement. The singer is depicted in daring scenes with Jesus and dancing in the middle of a burning cross. We can safely say that the Catholic Church did not appreciate the song, nor its clip.
Nirvana, "Heart-Shaped Box" (1993)
Between excrement and images of the Klu Klux Klan, Nirvana's music video for their hit "Heart-Shaped Box" released in 1993 and its grotesque visuals shocked viewers.
Christina Aguilera, “Dirrty” (2002)
Today, Christina Aguilera's iconic "Dirrrty" look has become a celebrity Halloween costume, and her touting character isn't as shocking as it did back then, compared to current music videos. But in the early 2000s, the singer's music video sparked excitement from fans and complaints from critics. Time magazine mocked her appearance in the clip, saying she looked like she came " straight from an intergalactic prostitute convention."
Tyler, The Creator "Yonkers" (2011)
Tyler The Creator's song "Yonkers" , goes after almost everyone from Bruno Mars to Stevie Wonder. His music video lives up to the controversy sparked by his lyrics, with disturbing footage that shows the figure of the singer throwing up, eating a cockroach and staging his suicide.
Rihanna "S&M" (2011)
With lyrics evoking chains, whips and "sex in the air", the music video for "S&M" was bound to be daring. With fetish accessories and a sex doll, Rihanna ties Perez Hilton on a leash. The sexual nature of the video has resulted in the video being banned in 11 countries.
Kanye West, “Famous” (2016)
In typical Kanye West fashion, the video for "Famous" caused quite a stir. The video features wax figures of nude celebrities in bed, including longtime rival Taylor Swift , as well as people like Donald Trump .
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, "WAP" (2020)
"WAP" has undoubtedly made a splash in 2020. Not only did the lyrics go far enough to provoke Tory presidential candidates, Fox News presenters and capsize the internet, but the accompanying clip has put fuel on the fire. The sex appeal is fully displayed, and even Kylie Jenner makes an appearance. It almost "broke" the Internet.