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Use of the N-Word in Rap "Music" -- Enough Already!


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I generally try to stay in shape, and go to health clubs like Ballys or LA Fitness as the weather turns cold, and outdoor activity is less appealing.

All of these clubs have large rooms where group classes are given, usually some newfangled version of aerobics requiring multicolored weights, rubber bands, giants balls, adjustable platforms, hula-hoops and what have you.  I never take these classes but I'm usually start my workout by stretching out nearby. 

I actually used to teach aerobics, almost 30 years ago, and the only thing that is the same is the use of music. Music sets the tone; it can get you fired up or it can calm you down.  It also helps keep rhythm and helped me mark transitions in a routine.

My neighborhood club unfortunately uses rap "music" riddled with obscenities (Mother F this, N-word that, Suck my D, an the like.  No one seems to mind.  In fact, if you looked at me stretching out nearby you probably wouldn't think I minded either.  But I'm stretching out bewildered by how much the much things have changed for the worse in such a short period of time.

A couple of times I thought about going to the club's manager and complaining, but it seemed like a waste to time.  I don't go to the club that often and I was not too optimistic the kid running the place would even get it.

Again, I'm not exactly a prude, NWA was one of my favorite group when they were out -- but I would NEVER have used their music in my aerobics class -- in fact I wouldn't listen to the music in front of my mother or in mixed company.

But it is actually worse.  I have Sirius radio in my car.  One day I was listening to the "hip-hop" station and EVERY single song used the N-word -- 6 songs in a row before I stopped listening.

The lyrics don't resonate, the anger, posturing, profiling is artificial.  It is simply wonton vulgarity without a point -- other than to offend or perhaps shock. 

Apparently record companies are making money with this type of music.

Some suggest the music it is a conspiracy to destroy the Black community.   Given the chain of events, I completely understand why someone would buy into such a radical theory. 

I just don't think any group of people could have orchestrated such a thoroughly successful campaign to destroy Black people without the victims realizing it -- indeed getting Black folks to celebrate the most successful of those tools (Rappers) used to destroy us.

Then again, I could be wrong.





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Unfortunately black people, for whatever reasons, have become participants in their own set backs. As an example, they originated and excelled in a genre that promoted negative vibes because by depicting the ills of black life, Rap music had the effect of glorifying them. Consequently, with the explosion of Rap, the black community became caught up in a violent celebration of the all things that were wrong within it. And while the monster that rappers created made millionaires of them. all it did for their rabid fans was to promotive self-destructiveness.
Jazz, on the other hand, has never made broad inroads into the mainstream of Black music, and the Millennials have all but ignored what is another form of expression that was originated by their race. Rap totally resonates with this generation, however, becoming an integral part of the perennial hip-hop culture that crosses class lines. Is this because Jazz is too cerebral and sophisticated, while Rap is down to earth and simplistic, requiring no intellectual pondering? The latter can also be said of gospel music. Apparently, Blacks prefer to dull their pain by lovin' Jesus or diggin' Jay-Z, by praisin' da lawd or pullin' a trigger. And embracin' the bling, of course.
The destiny of black people does not seem to be in their hands. They have yet to "overcome". Because so much of black woe seems connected to our past, I've always wondered if Rap with its beats and spits was a throwback to the tribal drums and griots of Africa, traditions that are still present in our DNA but corrupted by the hostile environment of our new homeland. The ancestors of African Americans were brought to this country in chains, and it's as if they are being blamed for the sins of their oppressors. They can't win.
Is the white power structure impeding black advancement by using the hypnotic weapons that Rap has provided them with? Who's to blame? "Niggas" easily rolls off the tongue.    
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Del Superfly was just one movie.  Even the entire Blaxpoition era was a relative flash in the pan. But image a alternative universe where the majority of the popular films, for decades, were like the film Superfly and no one complained.  That seems to be the case with the most popular Rap music.


Cynique, I would certainly agree that our destiny is not in our hands.  We have relinquished control, in exchange for a little money for a few that the rest of us live vicariously through. 


Of course this music will persist until it is no longer profitable.  I just don't think the trade off, culturally, is worth it.

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Hi Del I believe the term Blaxpoitation was applied after the fact.  When Superfly was in the theaters I think Black folks were just happy to see Black people on the big screen.  Sure there were some who complained at the time but like today they exerted little or no influence.


I read today that Al Shaprton is calling for a Boycott of Kanye West.  I can guarantee he will not do it.  In fact, all he is doing with the threat is creating more publicity for Kayne and himself (I recognize I'm doing the same thing right now). 


Indeed, if it were not for Kayne's misguided fashion choices, I would not have gone through the trouble to looking for and


Some argue that rappers and music execs produce this "music" because this is what people buy.  Others say this music is produced because white corporation are evil and they want to destroy the Black community.  I believe music executive, as well as the rappers, are only interested in money, any adverse (or positive) impact on the Black community is purely incidental.


The majority of this music is purchased, I suspect, by white kids.  Otherwise, I doubt it would be so lucrative. 


Would white youth be interested in buying music in which we; refereed to each other lovingly as and Brother and Sister; or if we spit rhymes about our long and glorious history in Africa and our achievements here in America despite great obstacles?  Of course not.  It is much more amusing for them to listen to use call each other Bi*ch and Ni**er.   Needless to say there is no shortage of Negros willing to play the role.  Our course there are many Black people who enjoy this garbage too, but that reflects an abnormal mental state.


I just wish we would spend much less time covering, promoting and showcasing the cooning of these Brothers.  They are given awards and celebrated.  But of course this will never happen because the same machine responsible for producing the music is the same one promoting and marketing the Kanye Wests of the world to the American audience.


Since the Black controlled voice in the media is owned by white folks, alternative perspectives like the one are not seen by a large audience.


Corporations will continue to produce music with the n-word in it for as long as they like.  Sadly we are too weak or ignorant to do anything about it.

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This subject is one that is full of contradictions and irony which is why it's so difficult to sort out. I was watching the latest (?) episode of "Unsung" the other night and the subject was The Geto Boys, who were a hard core gangsta rap group during the 90s.  They were complaining how white radio executives wouldn't give their records any airtime, and that the white-owned black stations boycotted them because their lyics were too violent.  The members of this group seemed clueless as to why this was the case, and said that they were victims of racism since white stations played heavy metal music which was very graphic in its content...

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I like those Unsung shows, but I did not see the one about the Geto Boys, I'll look for it.


Sure the Geto boys may have been right.  The executives did not recognize the revenue potential right away.  But once they did they took control and never looked back.  Of course the Geto Boys who helped invent/popular Gangsta Rap where robbed of the opportunity to capitalize on it.


Of course this is nothing new.


The people who run corporations have an insatiable need to more and more money and they don't give a crap about the environment or other people.  Use child labor in Asia to reduce costs - of course; enslave Africans - no problem; displace and kill native Americans for their land - why not; pay undocumented Mexican less than minimum wage - sure; create music riddled with obscenities, negatively influencing generations of children -- you bet!


The contradiction comes in when you put a Black face on it; Black people generally stop complaining.  If a George Bush kills innocents with drone strikes it is a white devil doing what devils do, but when Obama does even more of it Black folks clam up.

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A few nights ago after the Clippers and Thunder NBA basketball game, in a fit of anger Clipper forward Matt Barnes sent out a tweet using the “N” word, which instantly rocked the media world. Once again the dreaded “N” word had been dropped. So let me explain again about that word.


 In my novel THE DAUGHTERS OF JOE STUBBS, a black pastor, who conducts weekly poetry and rap music workshops for young people in his church, says when speaking of the “N” word: “When a black mother calls her children to come in for dinner, and says, ‘You little n…ers march upstairs and wash your hands before sitting down at the table,’ the term is said with love and tenderness. When a young black woman says about a black man she finds attractive, ‘That's one good-looking n…er,’ it's a remark of aesthetic approval. When a black member of the audience says to his friend sitting next to him, ‘That funny little n…er up there really cracks me up!’ he's bestowing praise on the black comic up on the stage. And when two black men square off in anger and one says, ‘N…er, you better get out of my face!’ this signifies a danger that these two men are about to fight. The same word, with a hundred different meanings. But over history when a white person uses that word, there’s only one meaning, and we all know what that meaning is. And I think most decent white people realize this. Thus the "N" word.”


 Will Gibson, Novelist


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Black people who are comfortable with this word take up for it.


There are many Black people too dignified and horrified to use it ever.


But you would not know this by the popular radio format.


Therefore, young blacks who travel overseas complain that they are often greeted by the n-word.


Tell the world who you are and they will respond in kind to it. 


It's popular to be a fool and be fooled now-a-days.  Many Black people ignore the ways of their forebears, and foolishly let white media raise their children and put ignorant notions into their heads. 


Many Black people are no longer into protecting nor raising well-balanced children from the ignorance of both white and Black America.

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Will, welcome to the discussion forum also here is much shorter link you can use to send people to Amazon: http://amzn.to/wgibson finally please post information about American Black Book Writers Association, and the ABBWA JOURNAL (please start a new topic).


While I find the over use of the N-word problematic and used it to title this conversation my real concern is the over use of all the obscenities the songs are riddled with and how the music is played everywhere, out in the open. 


Sure the n-word, any curse word, can be used both as a term of endearment or an insult, between the right people in the right circumstances.  I have no problem with a bunch of Black friends using the word amongst themselves. 


I do have a big problem with the prolific use of the the n-word and profanity in ever ding-dang Black song that is played in public.


Mrs. Community, Welcome! and I agree with you 100% 


I'd go a step further and say that Black people are not ABLE to protect or raise well-balanced children allowing; them to fend off the ignorance of both white and Black America. For we are now have adults raising children who never knew a world without obscenity laden rap music being the most popular music. 


I just went to Billboard's site, out of curiosity, to find the the best selling album by a Black "musician"  The album Nothing Was The Same by Drake is #7.  It opened at #1 and has been on the chart for 5 weeks.  Note this is one of the top-selling album across all genres!




[Verse 1]
I don't know why they been lying but yo shit is not that inspiring
Bank account statements just look like I'm ready for early retirement
Fuck any nigga that's talkin' that shit just to get a reaction
Fuck going platinum, I looked at my wrist and it's already platinum
I am the kid with the motor mouth
I am the one that you should worry about
I don't know who you're referring to, who is this nigga you heard about?
Someone just talking that bullshit, someone just gave you the run-around
Niggas downplaying the money but that's what you do when the money down
I don't waste time putting money down
I just go straight to who got it and buy it in cash
Pussy so good that you gotta come see me on tour and you gotta fly in first class
This has been years in the making, it's all for the city
You know I come right every summer, Cash Money Records forever
I'm always big timing, bitch, I came up right under Stunna
You know it

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So sorry but true, Troy:  "I'd go a step further and say that Black people are not ABLE to protect or raise well-balanced children; allowing them fend off the ignorance of both white and Black America.  For we now have adults raising children  who never knew a world without obscenity laden rap music being the most popular music."

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I see that Drake shouted out Cash Money Records. 


Now Cash Money also has a publishing company Cash Money Content.  I know and like several of their writers.  One of the authors K'wan is an good writer and story teller.  He is releasing a new book Animal II this week.


Cash Money is a supporter of this site and a bunch of authors, so I don't make these statements lightly. 


Perhaps you are right (again) Cynique; "This subject is one that is full of contradictions and irony which is why it's so difficult to sort out."

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Troy you may find this surprising but I disagree with you. I worked with a white guy who is in his 20's and he loves Public Enemy and is up on Mos Def. Public Enemy toured Europe. On the flip side people here seem to like the fact that Selena Gomez sings and keeps her clothes on while doing so. I think Millie Jackson said it best. When she went to people's house she would see classical records in their living room but her records were in the bed room. Lowest common denominator sells. Which is why book stores are closing and iTunes is a major seller of music.

At the moment there is still some hip hop with intelligence it just doesn't get a lot if airplay because the public doesn't want to hear it.

A few years back I heard a track called beef and broccoli, and nu jack exterminator. Which were both intelligent and well crafted.

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Hey Del, what did I write that you disagree with?


Funny that you mention PE.  Who is currently the most famous person from that group today?  The answer oughta tell you something.  That and the fact they have not cut a popular record in decades -- do they even have a deal with a major label?


Sure the media tries to appeals to the larger possible audience (the lowest common denominator as you describe), but that does not mean that all we want to listen to is obscenity laden, violent, misogynistic music.  But that is what we are feed - Dysfunctional Black behavior. 


If you actually go to the Billboard site and look at the top music by white musicians it is not obscenity laced. Even EMEMIN'S is pretty innocuous compared to Drake.


What other group has to contend with this?


Del, as far a bookstores closing the ones closing are Black owned bookstores.  I've watched other independent bookstores open in Harlem and East Harlem while the Black owned ones have closed.  I can show you many independent white owned stores seemingly thriving elsewhere in the city.  The American Book Seller's Association reported a GROWTH in indie stores.

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Isn't Drake a bi-racial Canadian from a middleclass family??  Where is his street cred? I'd consider him a bogus rapper. Rap has  morphed into nothing more than a show case for clever lyrics.  It's like ghetto haiku.  


As I have previoiusly contended, nowadays, any young person can rap; it's lost its exclusivity. Just as all Hawaiians can do the Hula.  This dance has so permeated their customs that it comes natural to them.    :rolleyes:

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Would white youth be interested in buying music in which we; refereed to each other lovingly as and Brother and Sister; or if we spit rhymes about our long and glorious history in Africa and our achievements here in America despite great obstacles? Of course not. It is much more amusing for them to listen to use call each other Bi*ch and Ni**er. Needless to say there is no shortage of Negros willing to play the role. Our course there are many Black people who enjoy this garbage too, but that reflects an abnormal mental state.

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While I was at Bill board's site I discovered Eminem has a new "album" currently at #1



While anyone can rap.  Marshall Mathers is pretty talented. 


[Verse 1]
But for me to rap like a computer must be in my genes
I got a laptop in my back pocket
My pen'll go off when I half-cock it
Got a fat knot from that rap profit
Made a living and a killing off it
Ever since Bill Clinton was still in office
With Monica Lewinsky feelin' on his nut-sack
I'm an MC still as honest
But as rude and as indecent as all hell
Syllables, skill-a-holic (kill em all with)
This flippity dippity-hippity hip-hop
You don't really wanna get into a pissing match with this rappidy rap
Packing a Mac in the back of the Ac, backpack rap crap, yep, yep, yackity-yak
And at the exact same time
I attempt these lyrical acrobat stunts while I'm practicing that
I'll still be able to break a motherfuckin' table
Over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half
Only realized it was ironic I was signed to Aftermath after the fact
How could I not blow, all I do is drop F-bombs, feel my wrath of attack
Rappers are having a rough time period, here's a maxi pad
It's actually disastrously bad for the wack
While I'm masterfully constructing this masterpiece (yeah) cuz

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Well, I said that Rap is a showcase for clever lyrics. Rap per se is simply specialized verbalization and the average young person seems to have naturally mastered the ability to do this.  Possessing the talent to compose compelling rhymes to verbalize is what separates the brilliant rappers from the mundane ones.


I agree that Eminem is a rapper extraordinare.

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