Guns N’ Roses Remove Song With Homophobic & Racist Language From Album Reissue
‘One In a Million’ has been cut from a reissue of the album Appetite for Destruction thanks to controversial lyrics: “Immigrants and faggots, they make no sense to me”…
Guns N’ Roses have removed the song ‘One in a Million’ from a forthcoming reissue of their album Appetite for Destruction. The 1980s rock Gods have not commented on the decision, but it seems to have been prompted by the song’s lyrics, which feature homophobic and racist language.
‘One in a Million’ includes lyrics such as: “Police and n******, that’s right / Get outta my way / Don’t need to buy none of your gold chains today.”
Another line goes: “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 f***ing disease / And they talk so many goddamn ways / It’s all Greek to me.”
The song originally appeared on an EP called G N’ R Lies, which sold more than 5 million copies in the US. All of the tracks from that EP have now been repackaged and are featured on a disc of B-sides being released alongside a remastered version of Guns N’ Roses debut studio album, Appetite for Destruction.
The song was condemned on its original release in 1988. Explaining the lyrics in 1988, lead singer Axl Rose told Rolling Stone that they were inspired in part by African American con artists in Los Angeles, and added: “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.” In 1992, he added: “I was pissed off about some black people that were trying to rob me. I wanted to insult those particular black people.”
Regarding the immigrants line, he explained: “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.” He claimed the “faggot” line came from “very bad experiences with homosexuals” including an attempted rape: “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.”
Guitarist Slash later said: “I don’t regret doing One in a Million, I just regret what we’ve been through because of it and the way people have perceived our personal feelings.”