Should people be allowed to say the N-word while rapping? Have black people giving the power of that word back to others, by using it so freely?
Kendrick Lamar Concert: Let’s take a look at the Hip-hop genre of music. It’s a predominantly black music community, at least on the part of the artists. It is only natural that a majority of hip-hop songs sung by black artists will contain the N-word, such as this one with Kendrick Lamar. However, on the part of the audience, it is not a genre dominated by black listeners. The majority of Hip-hop listeners are white. The topic of conversation is whether or not these white listeners can say the N-word while rapping or singing along to the songs.
Aminé, a black Canadian rapper, while performing his song, Caroline, at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in 2018 skillfully reminded the non-black people in the audience to omit the word while rapping along. Instead of saying the N-word, he said: “If you ain’t black don’t say it.” This is certainly one way to curb the usage but he shouldn’t have to. He went the extra mile to remind people not to say the racial slur. Not all artists would be bothered to make that effort because they do not expect non-blacks to say it. It is simple logic. It doesn’t have to be explained.
Kendrick Lamar, who is on tour, was performing one of his songs, M.A.A.D city when he brought up several fans to rap along with him. However, a white girl, Delaney was brought up on stage and when she started rapping she said the N-word several times. Some people, when asked about the incident, said that Kendrick Lamar was wrong to bring her up on stage. That he if didn’t want people saying the word, he shouldn’t have put it in any of his songs. Another person said she didn’t do anything wrong that she was only rapping along.
The fact is, whether rapping along or not, what she did was blatantly wrong. If she could say it that easily in front of thousands of people several times without realizing what she was doing wrong, it means she has been doing it for a long time. Some might argue that she was ignorant. First off, it’s 2018, there’s no way she didn’t know she was not supposed to say the N-word. Secondly, as a fan of Kendrick Lamar, who is very outspoken about black-centric issues, she would have known prior that he would never be in support of a non-black person saying the N-word. If she hadn’t been saying it previously and saying it comfortably when rapping and when not rapping she would have never been able to say it on stage.
Delaney, whom we have previously mentioned in this article is not the first person who has said the N-word while at a concert. In fact, while Migos performed at Coachella in 2018 several non-black people said the N-word without remorse or shame. They screamed it out loudly, they used it whilst conversing with their friends all because they knew no one would accuse them. Some white people don’t feel comfortable saying it because they know it’s wrong but when they see other white people doing it, they cast away all their inhibitions.
Justin Bieber, a white Canadian artist, was caught saying the N-word several years ago and he apologized saying he was a child. Several non-black celebrities have been caught saying the N-word and they have all apologized so many times that you begin to wonder if the effort to curb it is yielding any fruit. If they weren’t caught would they have stopped? and even though they apologized how can you be sure they didn’t continue saying it?
The debate on whether the N-word should be said when rapping or singing along to a song is one that comes up over and over again. The answer remains the same: No. It doesn’t matter the context in which you’re using it. You shouldn’t say the N-word if you are not black. Leonardo DiCaprio, an Academy Award-winning actor, while acting in the movie The Hateful Eight, had to say the N-word many times. While being interviewed about the movie, he expressed his deep discomfort while shooting those scenes.
He had to fully immerse himself in the role of a white supremacist and he didn’t like it all. I’d like to believe that the white people who feel as though they have a right to say the N-word do not know the origins. The physical and mental harm done to the blacks during and after slavery is not something to joke with. The least you could do is respect them. The history of the word does not permit other races to say it because of its sensitive subject matter. It makes no sense to pretend as though history does not exist.
White and non-black people should not be allowed to say the N-word at all. It takes guts to be able to snatch back your essence from those who stole it and made fun of it for years and now that you have taken care of this essence and brought out its beauty, the people who once scorned and disregarded it suddenly want it back. You can not and should not take what does not belong to you. The N-word does not belong to anyone except the blacks so therefore it should not be said by anyone except the blacks.
The question of whether white people should be able to say the N-word while rapping has the same answer as the general question of whether white people should be able to say the N-word. It is racist in nature for a white person to say the N-word. The fact that so many white people feel as though they have a right to the word shows how deep racism runs. It has become so casual that people feel comfortable throwing racial slurs around without discretion. As previously stated, it doesn’t matter the context, they shouldn’t say the N-word. This shouldn’t be a subject up for discussion. Like Aminé says “If you ain’t black, don’t say it.”
A Thought For You: Now it is truly my belief that people are gong to be people, if their life depended on it, they would surely die. Because somehow someway people are going to say this word. But if you had decency or a love for mankind being equal, if you thought on a higher level than most. You would never allow this or any other negative foul language in your house, out your mouth or in your heart. NEVER! Maybe Kendrick Lamar and all the others shouldn’t use this word. Precept and example!
You cannot blame this young woman because black folks say the word on a daily basis, more than they drink water. She could have censured herself if she cared about not offending anyone, but she was singing the words to the song, my God what do you want? Even though she she seem pretty cool saying the word. But after a brief conversation about the word, she chose to say again. I don’t even know who to blame in this case. I cannot even be angry with her. Let me say, I am usually pretty put out with people who don’t exercise any restraint in their personal conduct. HOW CAN KENDRICK LAMAR EVEN BE UPSET? Her argument will naturally be, “those are the words to the song.” But I guess you can say, it was in her to say.
The one thing black people should have never started doing is using that word to each other, or to any one else. They claim they were taking that word back, and it’s power. But it is impossible to have the power over such a negative word that has been used for hundreds of years to hurt black people. The pain and all the issues that go along with that word are irreparable and cut too deep. We sometimes shoot ourselves in the foot. My question is this, why is it even necessary to have such words in our song? It is like a set-up for destruction and more hate to arise, or needless animosity that could possibly be avoided if we just had a higher standard.
Encourage Yourself: Change starts within in each individual, if you know better, than it is up to you, to do better.