Bill O’Reilly got the boot from Fox News on Wednesday (April 19), after several accusations of sexual harassment from colleagues and former co-workers surfaced against him. The longtime Fox News anchor of The O’Reilly Factor — known for his controversial statements about Beyoncé and, basically, everything else — has also had a history of targeting hip-hop on-air.
Below, Billboard revisits the 67-year-old pundit’s hot takes on hip-hop and most heated moments with both rappers and R&B acts.
In March, O’Reilly called veteran MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell “unruly” on Twitter after being escorted from a press conference for asking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a question about Chinese threats of retaliation for U.S. anti-missile defenses in South Korea during a photo opp with Ukranian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkinon.
“She’s not your granddaughter, Billy. She’s a seasoned journalist asking important questions. You should take notes,” John Legend tweeted to O’Reilly.
She’s not your granddaughter, Billy. She’s a seasoned journalist asking important questions. You should take notes. https://t.co/6RrISQgsEo
— John Legend (@johnlegend) March 9, 2017
During a May 2015 appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher, Killer Mike had some choice words about O’Reilly. Responding to O’Reilly’s claims about hip-hop affecting Christianity (more on this in a moment), the Run the Jewels MC said, “I like Bill O’Reilly the character, but I hate how white people take him so seriously. He’s more full of s— than an outhouse. I’m gonna go in a black club and see Bill O’Reilly with a stripper on his lap, I guarantee you that. He’s as fictional as those books he writes.”
O’Reilly disturbed the peace when he ripped through Ludacris and successfully had his Pepsi ad campaign pulled in 2002. “I’m calling for all responsible Americans to fight back and punish Pepsi for using a man who degrades women, who encourages substance abuse and does all the things that hurt particularly the poor in our society,” the anchor said at the time.
Ludacris — who dedicated a line to O’Reilly on his song “Number One Spot” — addressed the fall of O’Reilly (as well as the recent Pepsi backlash) in an interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club.
“The irony of it is crazy,” the Fate of the Furious star said. “It’s not my place to judge Bill O’Reilly the same way that he judged me. That’s how I feel about it. It’s a lot of maturity and a lot of growth. I’ve moved on past it. I’m thriving in life right now and all I can do is hope that Bill O’Reilly settles these issues and learns from whatever mistakes he may have made and also thrives. But it is definitely ironic that both Pepsi and Bill O’Reilly are both under fire right now.”
Jay Z and Jeezy
After Jay Z and Jeezy targeted George W. Bush at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2008 and performed their “My President” collaboration that triumphantly states “My president is black” on the hook, O’Reilly and radio talk show host Dennis Miller called the display “low-class.” The Snowman then slammed O’Reilly and Miller on the remix: “Bill O’Reilly, eat a d—, nice try/ You’re really being a racist a–hole in a nice tie/ And tell Dennis Miller his show suck anyway/ And I’d rather watch Jimmy Kimmel any day.”
There is no place reserved for O’Reilly in the BeyHive. Following the release of her self-titled album in 2014, O’Reilly targeted Beyoncé for promoting sex before marriage to young women within the black community, specifically with the steamy “Partition” video. He said that entertainers like Bey had an obligation to “protect children, not put out exploitive garbage that harms impressionable children.” Luckily, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons was on-hand and defended the singer by calling her material “art” and calling her “a brilliant artist.” Of course, O’Reilly wasn’t having it.
Last July, former first lady Michelle Obama delivered a poignant speech at the DNC about how slaves built the White House. O’Reilly’s reaction? Saying “slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government.” Cue Questlove, who fired back at the Fox News host (without saying his name) in a lengthy post on Instagram.
“Slavery was inhumane. Slavery was sadistic. Slavery was uncomfortable. Slavery was unjust. Slavery was a nightmare. Slavery was a despicable act,” he began. “I dunno if that man’s (never say his name) point is to troll at any cost whatsoever but his entire existence is 5 steps backwards for any progress made in humanity. My dismay is the percentage of people who get their news from memes/headlines/& sources to whom they have 0 clue is feeding them false information.”
Slavery was inhumane. Slavery was sadistic. Slavery was uncomfortable. Slavery was unjust. Slavery was a nightmare. Slavery was a despicable act. Slavery is the pebble whose ripple in the river still resonates on and on and on and on. I’d like to think most of you have common sense. But there is nothing more dangerous than a man in a suit pretending to be a journalist giving revisionist history on the ugliness that was slavery. What’s so fun and lighthearted about being shackled? being separated from your loved ones? Being molested and raped HOURLY, being branded with hot iron? being property? being castrated? being flogged? being malnourished? living in high stress conditions? forced to lay in your own feces? being sold in a heartbeat? suppressing ANY emotion (with the surprising exception of singing it was illegal —lashes or death–to read, write, “talk back” or “sass”, cry (how many of you heard “you better NOT cry before I give you something to cry about!”), get angry, or even more surprising LAUGHING (a plantation barrel of water was always in proximity to dunk ones head in so one could express emotions and suppress the sound as to not alert your overseer of your “sassing”—deep history I just learned about laughing and the slave period—the first recorded song “The Laughing Song” was the defiant “F%^k Tha Police” of its day (also where the term “Barrel Of Laughs” gets its origin)—I’m getting beside the point. I dunno if that man’s (never say his name) point is to troll at any cost whatsoever but his entire existence is a 5 steps backwards for any progress made in humanity. My dismay is the percentage of people who get their news from memes/headlines/& sources to whom they have 0 clue is feeding them false information. Human Trafficking in any form from today’s underage prostitution, to the private Prison System we exercise here in the US, to the Holocaust to 500 years of Slavery–and all other examples I’ve not mentioned is INHUMANE & Evil. —watch where you get your information from and the company you keep people.
Cam’ron and Damon Dash
Cam’ron and Damon Dash joined The O’Reilly Factor in 2003 to discuss the affects of hip-hop on America’s youth. While O’Reilly was supposed to be a moderator between the rap moguls and an elementary school teacher, who was claiming music like theirs was negatively influencing his students, the show’s host pretty much broke any illusion of impartiality as soon as he introduced Cam’ron as an artist who raps about “pimping and bitches, among other things.”
From there, it didn’t take long for things to fall apart during the nine minute segment. When O’Reilly consistently interrupts Cam’ron and Dash, the two eventually start to target him, with Cam’ron taunting him, “You mad… you mad… Where you get started Current Affair? I got dirt on you doggy!”
Hip-Hop in General
In 2015, O’Reilly blamed hip-hop for the decline of Christianity in the U.S. (yes, really). After a Pew Research study showed that the number of Americans who identify as Christian has dipped since 2007, the conservative talking head pointed the finger at hip-hop, saying, “There is no question that people of faith are being marginalized by a secular media and pernicious entertainment. The rap industry, for example, often glorifies depraved behavior. That sinks into the minds of some young people — the group that is most likely to reject religion.” Insert hashtag: #BoyBye.