Guns N' Roses were the biggest rock band in the world by 1991 — but that didn’t mean they were impervious to criticism. Their double-barreled smash ‘Use Your Illusion’ featured the song “Get in the Ring,” in which the notoriously thin-skinned Axl Rose struck back against those he felt had wronged him in the press. The track is notable for its complete lack of ambiguity. He specifically names music journalists and challenges them to fight. But when they accept his challenge, Axl never shows. “Get in the Ring” crystalizes the dichotomy between the singer’s brawling bad boy reputation and his actual actions, and raises questions about how celebrities defend themselves against critics.
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