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Hip Hop on Trial (Soul Pages Archive Part 2 – The N-Word @ 02 Wireless Festival 2010)

June 27, 2012

The N-Word…was used in abundance at this years 02 Wireless Festival at Hyde Park…and as always it perturbed me!

No it wasn’t in attack mode, I wasn’t chased round the park by a crew of shaven headed racists yelling the N word at the top of their lungs…there were too many of US for that to have worked anyway, naw that wasn’t the case…It was the artists, the black ones, the rappers, and me! Even ME, I was guilty of using the N word in front of  The Others!

But it wasn’t my fault, the rappers made me do it. It’s true.  You try rapping along to  N***a What, N***A Who without saying it…okay I know Jay has reworked it to say Jigga What, Jigga Who…but okay what about Aint No N***A, or Dirt off Your Shoulder…check it:

Words: If you’re feeling like a pimp, N***A go on brush your shoulders off…etc. etc.

Now did you see the crowd? As I said there were a lot of brown people there but essentially festivals are predominantly a white people affair. So we had a lot of The Others saying the word N***A too.

And although not said with hatred…is it right?

It’s no secret famous Elders like OprahBill CosbyJesse Jackson and Al Sharpton amongst others have all had something not so positive to say about Hip Hop and it’s derogatory lyrics. The elders say the younger generation especially those pesky rappers, are wrong for allowing the N word amongst other negative terminologies and content to become mainstream!

CLICK HERE to read an article on the subject.

Which then sparked a big debate initiated by BET, called Hip Hop vs. America which tried to tackle negative content and lyrics in hip hop from the rappers point of view…

I think T.I made a strong passionate point in defence of Hip Hop…

50 Cent not so much (only because he trivialised the question put to him, and didn’t answer directly. And  the audience were obviously 50 bitten so giggled at his every joke. But this was three years ago so his opinions may have changed…)

And anyway, although T.I was passionate and had a point, the bigger picture on this debate, is that rap is powerful, rappers are influential, so what they say and do is impressionable. We’ve had, T.I,  and Little Wayne amongst other big name rappers serving jail time whilst enjoying chart topping success…so to say they can’t be responsible for the things they and do and say is a little irresponsible.

But again T.I was right, watch your own damn kids, rappers shouldn’t be responsible for what your children get into and listen to. And 50 in amongst his nonsense, was also right in highlighting the state of politics, politicians and their white collar criminal antics. AND JayZ said it…when he rapped, ‘Scarface the movie did more than Scarface the rapper did to me’ pointing out that Hollywood puts out 100s of movies with questionable content but rarely comes under fire as much as Hip Hop does.

But we can’t ignore the fact that the elders do have a point. People like Jesse Jackson marched for our civil rights back in the day and remember a time when being called a N***A was the worst form of insult. Black people were enslaved and put to work and were called N***A on a daily basis, along with having our human rights denied in a way that people wouldn’t treat animals! So the N word has serious, serious historical negative connotations. We were lynched to the sound of Ku Klux Klanners yelling N***A, it’s not hard to understand why the elders and some of us are pissed at the casual blase use of the word in 2010 (2012)

What about the poor non-brown person who loves hip hop to the point of addiction, but has to watch their ps and N***As in case they offend anyone? They must be tired by the end of certain Hip Hop songs trying to learn the lyrics and edit at the same time. It must be so confusing for them…so I can say N***A when I’m rapping lyrics, but not to my friend on a daily basis, even if I mean it with love, even if my friend says it to me and the rest of us, I can’t say it back because then I’m being racist? I mean how is one to survive! Poor non-brown person.

Overall though, content, responsibility etc. etc. aside. It’s  hard to relax and enjoy JayZ in front of the multi-cultural masses with everybody as one screaming the word N***A all together now, when on a good day, let some Other call me N***A in jest or in hate, I’d kick their f***ing asssssssssssssses.

Can we find another word?

Ebs xxx


From → Just Sayin'...

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