Italian colonizer Christopher Columbus is a hero to some and a certified fuckboi to others.

If you let the elementary school textbooks tell it, Columbus was a master navigator who sailed the ocean blue in 1492 to the then-“undiscovered” plot of land we now call the United States, became best buds with the Native Americans and then, you know, Thanksgiving.

But, if the facts be told, Columbus is somewhere between a dude who got lost and just happened to wind up in the Americas and a harbinger of near-continental genocide to the millions of people who were already at the location he "found." But hey, the textbooks won out and now we have a whole holiday dedicated to the polarizing historical figure, and a slick little rhyme we all had to learn in history class, to boot.

Clearly, not everyone is accepting of the spoon-fed Columbus story we were told as kids, and now that the full truth about his expeditions is now common knowledge, pushback has been real. On today's nationally recognized holiday, Columbus Day, many have instead countered by celebrating Indigenous People’s Day, which began in 1989 as an homage to Native American culture. When it comes to hip-hop, many MCs have also been on the anti-Christopher Columbus wave over the years.

Several rap artists have challenged the mainstream Columbus narrative in rhymes including Jay-Z, XXXTentacion, T.I. and more. With Columbus Day Indigenous People’s Day upon us, XXL compiles a list of lyrics that frown upon the controversial explorer and his national holiday.

  • “XXL Freshman Freestyle 2017”


    “It was clear since the alteration/Of the books our children study when they said Columbus discovered America, oh, the ultimatum”

  • “SLR 3 (Round of Applause)"

    Lupe Fiasco

    “They ain't from us but they're claiming they're Columbus”

  • “I Believe”


    “Columbus Day you believe a holiday/What about Capone and Doc Holiday/Lucky Luciano, John Gotti Day/Bumpy Johnson and Larry Hoover Day/Happy Meech Day, Happy Tookie Day/Happy Hitler day, sounds stupid aye?/That’s cause hypocrisy more American than democracy”

  • “Oceans”


    "I'm anti-Santa Maria/Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace/I don't even like Washingtons in my pocket"

  • “Change Gonna Come”

    B.o.B Featuring Asher Roth and Charles Hamilton

    “We've been pompous ever since Columbus couldn't work a compass” —Asher Roth

  • “My World Is Empty Without You”


    “Fuck Christopher Columbus! The Indians was here first”

  • “No Church in the Wild Freestyle”

    Angel Haze

    “A lot of shit you can't understand, like where you come from in the motherland?/Why Columbus stole my mother's land?”

  • “Earthquake”


    “Looking for the promised land/False stories of Christopher Columbus/Holding Pocahontas' hand”

  • “If I Was President”

    Wyclef Jean

    “Tell the children the truth, the truth/Christopher Columbus didn't discover America”

  • “Street Life”


    “Fuck Kris Kringle and Christopher Columbus”

  • “Dig It!”

    The Coup

    “Gunned us, stunned us exploited and they hung us/I'd like to take a moment to say, 'Fuck Columbus!'”

  • “The Illest”

    Immortal Technique Featuring Jean Grae and Pumpkinhead

    “My arrival is genocidal like Christopher Columbus” —Immortal Technique

  • “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)”

    Lupe Fiasco

    “An all-white Los Angeles, the dream of Mr. Chandler/Hope and pray they take Columbus Day up off the calendar”

  • “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train"

    Vinnie Paz

    “Columbus lied, said he saw it the evening before/They touched ground, they were greeted by the Arawak/Columbus had them locked up as prisoners in an hour flat”

  • “New Black"


    “Christopher Columbus ain't the only one founder/They don't mention niggas that was on the Mayflower”

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