A refresher course in physics: Isaac Newton found that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In hip-hop—a culture that celebrates its ability to test the boundaries of exaggeration—the highs go unbelievably high: Bitches, riches, and speedboat motorcades are the norm. That being said, when some of these rappers crash, it's a hard fall and piles of pennies don't act as a solid cushion. There's a thin line between champagne showers and golden showers.
And, these days, urban legends are no longer relegated to barber shops and tin-can alleys. With the Internet in overdrive, every day is an obstacle course in new media: Regrettable interviews can happen at any time, and opinions are formed immediately. Everyone's suddenly got a voice, and anyone's volume can be turned up to 11. Today's poster child might wake up as tomorrow's Twitter hashtag, as long as there's the right Flipcam footage or screenshot. And that fail will never go away, cached somewhere in the annals of your favorite hip-hop blog. If there's one thing we've learned, it's that nothing dies on the web...except for careers. Complex looks back on all the bad moves and hilarious humiliations from rap history in our countdown of The 50 Worst Hip-Hop Fails.
This story originally appeared in altered form on June 17, 2010