What rappers can say the N-word?


Hey, you guys remember Stitches? He’s the guy who made the generation defining song “Brick in yo face!“. I wrote about him when that song dropped cause, well, it was insane. I wasn’t even mad at him. It was like wrestling rap. Since then, he’s put out tons of videos but he has never been able to recapture that cocaine in a bottle. Yesterday, I saw this video and it got me thinking…

Okay, let’s ignore that he did a song dissing Tyga and his child girlfriend. Let’s also ignore the means in which he disses him is telling Tyga he fucked his child girlfriend before him. The logic is staggering. Forget that. What I wanna discuss is Stitches Liberal usage of the N-word.

Now, there’s a few things we must know first…Stitches is of Cuban and Greek descent. I’m gonna go ahead and say he’s more Greek than Cuban and that sliver of Cuban he’s got in him is there just for street cred. I could be wrong but it’s a hunch. But, the fact that I’m even bringing it up is what I find so interesting. At what point does street cred begin, racially? I can only speak for NYC but dominicans and Puerto ricans have been using the N-word with no issues forever out here. No one bats an eye. It’s very much a “product of the environment” situation. I’ve knows tons of white dudes who grew up on those very same neighborhoods who had that word deeply infused in their lexicon. I’m not one of these intellectuals who will argue that that word , when used in those contexts, still carries the hate and disgrace of it’s harsher “er” ending cousin. While it will never be my place to use that word, I also don’t think it’s a black and white issue (No pun intended). Granted, as a white guy, it’s not really my place to say anything about this but it’s 2015 in America. Things are not the same as they were even 20 years ago. We’re a homogenized nation in many way. I’m in no way saying racism is over (Lol @ that) but, on a strictly cultural level within the spectrum rap music, who gets the pass to say that word freely?

I think what is so funny to me is that people will start to argue like there are rules for this. Like “Well, he’s half dominican and grew up in queens so it’s okay”. To me, that’s what makes this whole thing so ridiculous. People start campaigning for the right to say the word without being judged and using their scattered ethnic heritage as a means of defense. I honestly can’t say that’s right or wrong but the fact that it happens speaks louder than the argument itself.

The honest answer to “Who gets a pass?” is one that I don’t think people wanna hear. It’s “whoever wants to say it”. You or I may not approve but that person is gonna do it anyway cause, well, they can. Until someone actively gets them to stop, they can say it. And, even then, they probably won’t stop. Weather they be black, Puerto rican, Asian, or 1/4 cherokee indian. It’s simply too engrained in some people. Doesn’t make it right or wrong, it just makes it a reality. The only people who can truly police language are themselves. I think it’s for that reason I’ve never gotten offended by hearing people say it in rap songs. Sure, my ears perk up and i am shocked when a white dude drops an N-bomb on wax. But my reaction is more “Whoa, that dude has some balls on him” than being offended or outraged. Again, not really my place to feel either way too strongly about that. White males. We don’t really have the luxury of being offended…we’re kinda the worst.

With all that in mind, we all have our own opinions on this phenomenon. Who gets the N-word pass? I wanted to do a poll about it cause I feel like there may be a generational gap on this. My generation has always taken issue with it, especially in rap music. While it’s safe to say all white rappers who grew up in 90’s probably went through a “n-word” heavy stage, the majority of them actively kept it off record or learned that , perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to freely use that word in general. I can’t really speak on how the younger generation views it cause, well, I’m not them. So, here are two polls…One for people over 28 and one for people under. Please only answer for your age group. Let’s see if there is indeed a difference in generational think toward this topic.

You can pick more than one answer if you wanna be difficult about it.
28 year olds and older

27 year olds and younger

10 thoughts on “What rappers can say the N-word?

  1. The word has lost all meaning now. It is dumb. I am an old guy now, 36. In the 90’s there were more defined rules. In 2015 it is now part of popular culture. Most people who use the word in are dumb, regardless of race.

    • Eh, I know plenty of very intelligent people who use that word on a regular basis. It’s simply part of the lexicon. Granted, they ate black but still…You can’t say all people who use it are dumb,

  2. So topical. I was actually gonna write this as an Answers for Questions so you saved me the time. Im a white 31 year old DJ and I was cruising the social media the other day when I saw one of my younger counterparts (early 20 something Asian female) refer to her girlfriends as her “niggs”. The “n-bomb” was liberally used by her friends (male and female, mostly Asian too). I kinda wanted to shoot her a message to say “some people might not think thats cool, so maybe think about taking down that post.” I wasnt trying to be the PC police but just look out for her. Coz that could come back to bite you in the ass, socially, career-wise. Then I thought, “well, if she uses it on social media, then she’s using it already in real life. Shell keep saying it until she wises up.” I mean, when I was growing up rappers were calling women “bitches” all the time and that seeped into my vocab too for a while. Then I matured. I cant imagine in 20 years all these 40 year olds using the “n-bomb”, regardless of race, but then Ive been to 3rd world countries with no black folk and hear locals say it, so… who knows???

  3. My rule on that is simple. If you can’t say that word in the presence of people who remember days when people got hung for being Black, and the N-bomb is the last word they heard before swinging from a branch, don’t say it. In other words, if you can say that word around my grandmother, not under your breath, to her face, and she gives you a pass…. you’re good with me. I could barely get away with that, I’m a grown Black man. When that generation dies off completely, maybe then we can all act like the word has no power anymore together, as one.

  4. In the early 2000’s I work in New Jersey and lived with a white dude from Philly who would use it when drunk but never sober. I stopped caring after I heard him use the n-word describing a fork he needed me to pass to him…

  5. Being a white dude from Australia, I’ve never fully understood the issue with it. I imagined it would be more of a context thing? “I’m gonna fuck this nigger up” is surely different from “this nigger got nice style”?
    Maybe not.
    Personally, I used the word often with friends. Mainly to discuss other white people. We just call back people “black”.

  6. I’m twenty-four, and most of my friends and I -love- rap. We all became friends through various nerdy interests (such as anime shit and games), but what we really love to discuss is music, rap, lyrics, our favorite artists, what we think of new albums, etc. I think for us, the “N” word is completely meaningless as an insult. Our races are majorly white and Mexican with some black thrown in, and we all use “nigga” very freely between each other. We’ll greet each other by screaming, “MY NIGGAAAAAAAAAA!” while hugging. If we see something hilarious or a hot girl in public, we tap each other, point and say, “my nigga… look at dis.” Like you say, it’s simply a part of our lexicon. I notice most older folks, if not all of them, are completely put off by this. It seems to me like they’ve all been trained to think it’s the worst word in the world that’ll, like… get you beaten up or something, but the fact is that it’s just not like that for my and younger generations. We’ve taken the word back, and we’ve completely killed its racist, offensive, and insulting meaning. I have never met one young person who cared, unless they were a sheltered whitey who thinks they’re not allowed to say it.

    I try to explain to the older folks that it’s a word with many meanings, normally meaning something very similar to “bro,” and that if you take away its negative context then it loses all power as an insult. I think it would be good, honestly, if more people said it. Since people (I’m looking at all races here) will never be able to stop using it as a racist term, though, I think the insulting version should be reserved for the hard “R” ending.

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