Here we go again.

The debate over who can and cannot use the n-word has come up again. Recently, DJ Khaled (who is apparently Palestinian) came under fire for his use of the word. As with Kreayshawn, Fat Joe, Jennifer Lopez, and many more non-Blacks who’ve wealded the divisive term, DJ Khaled says he should be given a pass because he grew up around ‘n*ggas.’

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.”

While I don’t use the term, and am throughly annoyed when I hear ANYONE, particularly non-Black folk using the word as if it’s water, I can’t really fault those who feel comfortable saying it.

Hip-hop is nearly 35 years old, and in that time, rappers have been filling mixtapes, boomboxes, and ipods with “n*ggas.” It was only a matter of time before (all) people began to use the word, in spite of its historical meaning.

So can we really police who can and cannot say the word when it’s used so freely in our everyday lives? Sadly, I don’t think so.


What do you think? Have we moved beyond the n-word being a big deal? Does context matter? Sound off! 

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