Watch A Rare Performance Of Nirvana’s Most Controversial Song, “Rape Me”

Nirvana’s third studio album, In Utero, turned 20 last week. In advance of next week’s release of the 20th anniversary “Super Deluxe Box Set” version of In Utero, we’re proud to unearth some rare footage from the grunge powerhouse’s famous Live And Loud set from 1993.

Yesterday, we shared video of “Heart Shaped Box” with you, but today, we’re excited to share some footage of the most controversial track from the In Utero sessions, “Rape Me.” Contrary to the opinion of the dimwits at the PMRC, the song had nothing to do with sexual violence; rather, it was a statement by the band on how they felt like they were being treated by their record company, who Kurt, Krist and Dave felt cared only about getting another “Smells Like Teen Spirit”-esque hit from the band. (If you pay close attention to the opening riff of “Rape Me,” it even follows the same chord progression as “Spirit.”)

The title of this song was so offensive in 1993 that the label was forced to change its name to “Waif Me” on pressings of the CD and cassette they were being sold in major chains like K-Mart and Walmart. The band had initially wanted to play this song at the 1993 Video Music Awards, but were pressured by MTV censors and VMA producers not to. However, being the puckish iconoclasts that they were, Nirvana did play the opening chords of the song on the live broadcast before quickly transitioning into “Lithium.”

Later that year, MTV aired Nirvana’s famed Live And Loud concert, which was recorded in Seattle in December of 1993. The full DVD of this performance will be included in the aforementioned In Utero 20th Anniversary “Super Deluxe Box Set,” but you can also watch the special—commercial free, no less!—on VH1 Classic at 9PM/8C this Monday, September 23.