The ‘n’ word has been embraced within the hip hop and rap communities since their inceptions, although the progression of it’s use has changed as music has evolved. While the debate continues in the black community of who should be using it, and how, the jury is still out on if non-blacks are able to freely use the word.
For example, Bay area rapper Kreayshawn (who is white) has been criticized lately because of her association with White Girl Mob rapper V-Nasty who consistently uses the word. Another artist who is non-black and uses the word freely is DJ Khaled. Although he is Palestinian, he grew up around people who used the word which makes him feel as though it is okay to say it as well. He recently visited Invasion Radio and explained why he uses the word as well as how he uses it in a positive way:
“I’m a n—a. If somebody ever took that in an arrogant – if someone thinks it in another way, they dumb.[…]I grew up like that. It’s slang. It’s actually a positive word the way that I use it, the way that Ace [Hood] is using it. If you think like that, that goes back to the internet.
The hate. For me to say ‘We the best, oooo weeee n—a, we the best!’ You know what I’m talking about. N—as that’s thinking that is dumb f–ks. You know what I’m saying? Once again, I’d like to shout out the fans who love this music. What makes me mad, ’cause when I grew up, n—as was calling me sand n—a. Now, that’s ignorant, because there’s only one way to say it. You can’t say, ‘Yo what up my sand n—a?’ That’s not the way we grew up in the streets. When I say ‘What up my n—a,’ I say that to Green Lantern all the time. ‘What up my nig?’ That’s just me greeting you with love, but if somebody takes it another way, they dumb, man. That’s like, dumb. Like, they dumb.”
In my opinion, it’s silly to pick and choose who is allowed to say the word and who can’t because it only becomes even more confusing to other races who are prohibited from saying it. Years ago, Jennifer Lopez was criticized for using the ‘n-word’ in ‘I’m Real’ with Ja Rule but the same people who criticized her, said nothing to Fat Joe. Both are Hispanic.
We really should stop using the word altogether..
Check out the video of DJ Khaled below: