We all know that story about how mad people got when John Lennon said the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." There was uproar! There were banners! There were protests! But these days, musicians have the audacity to compare themselves to actual Gods and no one bats an eyelid. Let's take a look at the five main offenders.
1. Kanye West
Kanye's ego has been at phenomenally large levels for quite some time now. So we probably shouldn't be surprised that he took to the Met Gala stage on Monday night and yelled the immortal words "I am a God!" (It's the name of a new song of his). If it was anyone else, we would assume irony was involved somehow. However, this is 'Ye we're dealing with, so this probably signals the emergence of a full-blown God complex. Next thing we know he'll be telling us that Kim Kardashian's unborn child is the result of an immaculate conception cunningly orchestrated by him.
"I am the God of fuck, I am the God of fuck." So begins Marilyn Manson's charming 1994 ditty about a variety of sexual perversions, "Cake and Sodomy." Mr. Manson has been lovingly referred to as the God of Fuck ever since by both fans and sympathetic music journalists. Then, a decade later, he went and covered Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus", which just hammered the point home even further.
There's a scene in Cameron Crowe's rock 'n' roll, life-on-the-road movie, Almost Famous, in which the guitarist from up-and-coming band Stillwater takes acid, climbs on top of a house, and announces "I am a golden God!" The punchline to this scene is that it's actually based on an incident from 1975, when Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant is said to have yelled the exact same phrase from a balcony overlooking the Sunset Strip. That's what photographer Peter Simon says happened anyway. (And we totally believe him.)
Not only did Berkeley's own L'il B beat Kanye to the deity-claiming song title (by three whole years!), he wasn't messing around, either. Unlike Yeezy, B wasn't just "a" God, he just straight up said: "I'm God" and left it at that. But then he went and balanced it out by also claiming to be Satan with "I'm The Devil". And after that, he left all the religious stuff as far behind as possible with an album titled I'm Gay. Geez, B, make up your mind why don't you?
Now, she's stopped short of making any claims about being God-like directly, but Lord knows Madonna has always been one tiny step away from it. The religious iconography has always been strong with this one. She once said "I won't be happy until I'm as famous as God," and the video to "Like a Prayer" featured her engaging in candlelit foreplay with black Jesus. She certainly acts like she has the big man in the sky on speed dial. Which is almost more irritating than claiming outright to be him.