There have been many musicians over the years that have taken their image as being larger-than-life badasses a little too far. Some of these artists even started to believe that they were as invincible as they portrayed themselves in their music and lifestyle. This outrageousness needs to be addressed, so we're putting these artists in check.
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7. Lil Wayne
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On the lead track "3 Peat" on the Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne brags openly about getting shot, as many MCs past have done. Wayne raps: “Two more inches I’d been in that casket. According to the doctor I could've died in traffic.” What he failed to mention was that he actually shot himself by accident at the age of 12. Idiot.
I initially thought that this rap was about when Wayne got shot on his tour bus back in 2001 by a gang of angry female groupies, but that was a completely different scenario. Not only did this guy get shot by a girl, he’s the only self-proclaimed "gangsta" that got shot by his own hand. That fact that he acts like he somehow cheated death is pretty laughable. 50 Cent got shot nine times and lived. Now that’s cheating death. Wayne is also only 5' 6" and has been famous since the age of 15. It seems like a serious Napoleon complex and a very out-of-control ego have made Weezy believe that he's totally unstoppable. Some gangsta.
6. Johnny Cash
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I honestly love Johnny Cash. Putting him on this list actually has little to nothing to do with Cash himself. It’s his fans that have created this image of him as being the manliest man in the history of this planet that are really to blame. As far as his music is concerned, this may be a true statement. But Cash as a human being is just a tad bit more mortal.
Cash’s “Outlaw Image” was mostly created by his years of notorious drug use and run-ins with the law. First off, Cash never served a prison sentence in his life. He did find himself in jail on seven different occasions for misdemeanors, but only spent a single night for each. Cash also destroyed 508 acres of the Los Padres National Forest after his truck caught fire back in 1965. Bonehead mishaps like this only made his legend grow even more.
The fact that he played Folsom Prison was pretty much the tipping point. This made every killer, lawbreaker, and future punk rocker in the world worship the ground he walked the line on. Have you ever watched an interview with the guy? Even though he dressed in black 24/7, the man was obviously a sweetheart of a human being who surrounded himself with family, friends, and loved ones at all times. At his core, Cash was a very loving man who was actually warm, caring, and sometimes even shy. If he was ever the loner “Tall Man” character certain fans worship, it was only during his battles with pill addiction.
I feel like people are more impressed with his insane tales of being a raging pill and booze hound rather than his actual music. The irony here has to be the fact that Johnny Cash almost ruined his entire life because of this so-called “badass” behavior that made him so infamous to fans in the first place. Luckily for him, with the help of his wife June, Cash was able to get clean and sober and turn his life completely around. Cash himself even seemed to look down upon those dark years as being huge mistake, as well as a serious learning experience for his future life. Watch this 60 Minutes interview if you don’t believe me.
5. Sid Vicious
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Let’s just say it outright: Sid Vicious was more of a poseur than the devil incarnate. He may have worn the uniform of a scrappy badass, but we all know that that was just a cartoon-like image that was eventually blown way out of proportion after his death. What did he really do over the span of his short career that made people think that he was some kind of infallible punk God? He was a 21-year-old kid. The fact that Sid has been made out to be one of the most important punk rock icons of all time is a bit perplexing to me. As a pet project of band manager and fashion designer Malcolm McLaren, Sid was transformed into the literal poster boy for British punk rock. But unlike, say, Joe Strummer of The Clash, Sid's contribution to punk had more to do with heroin chic, leather jackets, and photogenic sneers than it did with ethos and artistic merit.
4. Rick Ross
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Oh, Officer Ricky. Even though his talent as an MC has always been in question, it was The Smoking Gun’s 2008 report linking Mr. Ross to a two-year stint as a correctional officer in a Florida prison that exposed Ross as a total fraud. The unearthed photo of Ricky in a correctional officer uniform didn’t help either.
Now I’ve heard of rappers having some odd jobs before that made it big in the game, but this is just plain ridiculous. What has happened to rap? If you’re going to spit raps about all your illegal cocaine activity and gloat about being the new Tony Montana of Miami, you better be able to back that s*** up. Tony Montana was a private in the Cuban army, but he was never a f***ing rat. Shame on you, Officer Ricky.
3. Dr. Dre
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Dr. Dre is hands down one of the greatest hip-hop/rap producers this world has ever seen and his talents are undeniable. Although what is deniable is his fabricated image as a “gangsta” that started to take shape during his time with NWA. First off, Dre’s candy-coated image during his early electro-pop days with the World Class Wreckin' Cru puts his Compton badass cred in serious question. Eazy-E singled out this era during his legendary beef with Dre on the track "Real Muthaphuckkin G's." Have you seen those pictures? The dude is wearing lipstick. Nuff said.
As for his years with Deathrow, Dre was pretty much the golden goose. He had protection from Suge Knight and that pretty much meant that he could get away with murder. That’s probably why he started to think he was a real-life version of the character he had created in his music. Based on numerous interviews and a slew of very embarrassing pictures, we all now know that this was very far from the truth. Oh yeah, dude was on the diving team in high school. Dre in a Speedo?! I can take no more.
2. Ted Nugent
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The Nuge is known for killing wild animals with his bare hands, being an NRA legend, and getting numerous cases of "Cat Scratch Fever." He is also known for being a big supporter of the military. When the Iraq war first started I vividly remember seeing Ted on FOX News giving the world his views on the war and on the military as a whole. Some find these views outrageous because Ted has constantly portrayed himself as a deadly killer of all living things, but has never even served in the military. Although Nugent has insisted that if he had served he would have been a serious killing machine:
"… if I would have gone over there, I'd have been killed, or I'd have killed, or I'd kill all the hippies in the foxholes … I would have killed everybody," he told the Detroit Free Press in an interview published July 15, 1990."
That’s all well and good, but in recent years there have been numerous accounts of how Ted went to disgusting lengths to actually avoid the draft and not take part in the war:
(Nugent claims) that 30 days before his draft board physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days he ingested nothing but junk food and Pepsi, and a week before his physical, he stopped using the bathroom altogether, virtually living inside his pants caked with excrement and urine. That spectacle won Nugent a deferment.
Some badass. This guy can hunt and kill animals till the day he dies, but that doesn’t mean he’s the supreme macho American that his music and outdoor woodsmen lifestyle have made him out to be. What a boner.
1. Glenn Danzig
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Glenn has spent most of his career creating the ultimate badass persona. From fronting one the greatest punk bands of all time (Misfits) to being one of the most evil-looking mofos on the planet (Samhain), it seemed pretty apparent that you never wanted to f*** with Mr. Danzig. Not only was Danzig very jacked in the muscle department, he was also extremely vocal about his fight training. Back in the early ‘90s, under martial artist Jerry Poteet, Danzig earned a teaching degree in Bruce Lee’s martial art and life philosophy Jeet Kune Do. These stats made Danzig seem super human and a real-life unstoppable force.
In the video, a 5' 3" Danzig gets into an argument with a very large member of the opening band, pushes him in an act of frustration, only to get knocked the funk out with a single punch. Now I know he wasn’t as young and fit as he use to be, but I think it was a very good thing for Danzig to finally get his ass put in check and let the world know once and for all that he was nowhere near as invincible as his die-hard fans have built him up to be.