Point v Counter Point – Should musicians say the N word in their music?

The history of the N- word dates back to slavery when it was used to describe a ‘black’ person. However it was used in a demeaning way in effort to diminish slaves. The use of the word, is a soft topic as it can be interpreted differently depending on the way it is used. But recently, the term has reappeared and this time spoken by black rappers in Hip-Hop. It was made for a controversial issue, due to Hip-Hop being listened to by all audiences and causing white people to be put in an uncomfortable position when the word is sung or rapped. For example, at a Kendrick Lamar concert in May of this year he brought a white girl up on stage to sing “m.A.A.d. city” with him, in which the girl repeatedly said the n-word. Lamar immediately stopped the song, corrected the girl and then kicked her off stage. Although rappers have stated  that the word is being ‘reclaimed’, they have provided white people an opportunity to say the destructive word without even comprehending the power nor context.

Jay Z defended many rappers for their use of the word in an interview with Oprah on January 17th, 2011. Jay Z stated, ” People give words Power. And for our generation, we took the word and took the power out of it. We turned a word that was very ugly and hurtful into a term of endearment.” Many rappers who see no issue with have the N-word in Hip-Hip/Rap music, feel that a solution is just to have white people skip the words and not say them at all.

In my opinion, I think we need to remove the n-word from music. I think recently the term has become so normalized, that white people are more comfortable saying it than ever and rap music has attributed to that.


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