A History of Rap Videos Banned From TV
Public Enemy “By the Time I Get to Arizona” (1991)
Hostile Party: MTV
History: PE’s politically-charged song criticizing Arizona’s refusal to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was banned by the MTV Standards Department for its portrayal of the assassination of a White supremacist governor.
Outcome: Despite the pushback, the album that the single was featured on, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/hip-hop albums charts. Two decades later, Arizona is still confused.