So Nas’ newest album was released earlier this month and it was originally going to be called “Nigger”. Not only that, but, it was going to contain a rather offensive single called “Be a Nigger Too” in which he calls every ethnicity by its derogatory term and invites them all to join in his celebration of being a nigger. Thankfully the corporate executives put a squash to those two items (even though the video to that single is still viewable on youtube).
Nas’ Video for your viewing pleasure:
Now I find this word extremely offensive as is obvious by my title and as of the past few years I have had very mixed feelings on the state of hip-hop and rap music in general. Call me old-fashioned but I yearn for the days of just positive party songs, the afro-centric movement and when songs pointed out the injustices of the political system and tried to give advice to the urban youth on how to better themselves. Hell, I even miss the early gangsta rap that didn’t necessarily show a positive way of life but showed the harsh reality of living in the ghettos and protested the police brutality that helped maintain this negative state.
Unfortunately, the commercialism of rap music has put it in a state of selling a lie and propogating this fantastical image of thuggery as living the good life; instead, of the more positive images that the old civil rights leaders used to conjure. Alas, there is still some hope. There are some rappers both in mainstream and in the underground that are fighting against this continued state of denigration. I look forward to talking a little more intimately about my feelings of today’s rap music in my podcast this weekend. But for now, I leave you with some more video clips. Two are from an underground Artist, NY Oil, who I will be showcasing in my upcoming podcast episode. The last video clip is an old Chris Rock joke where he divides the black community into two sections: Black folk and niggas. Enjoy
NY Oil’s take on the N word and the state of hip-hop today
Chris Rock’s take on the denigration of his own people