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Is 'Illegal Alien' by Genesis the most racist song of the '80s?

"It's not fun ... being an illegal alien." I was only 16 when this song by Genesis was released in 1983. All I thought at the time is that it was semi-catchy, and semi-stupid. But was it actually one of the most racist songs of the '80s?

That's one argument we hash out in this week's Stuck in the '80s podcast, which honors three albums from 1983. Download the show here. It's free. You can find all our shows here.

Depending on who you ask, the most racist song of the '80s might be a tune from NWA or Public Enemy. Though I'd argue their raps were ABOUT racism - a not-so-small difference. If you ask the New York Times, they'll say David Allan Coe produced "the most racist, misogynist, homophobic and obscene songs recorded by a popular songwriter."

As for Genesis, check out the oddly insulting video and ridiculous lyrics. Phil Collins and his bandmates would argue that the song was just a light-hearted look at the frustrations facing Mexican immigrants. Blender magazine, meanwhile, called it the 13th worst song of all time.

It's amazing how many '80s songs are on the Blender list. But that's a story for another podcast.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 11:38am]

    

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