Editorial: N*ggas at the Grammys (Kanye and Jay-Z)

“They say money make a n*gga act n*gger-ish”
Problem- A$AP Rocky

Paul ScottConservative talk show host , Sean O’Reilly hated Hip Hop with a passion. Yet, there he was, sitting in front of his flat screen watching the Grammys, anxiously , waiting for the rap song of the year to be announced . When the winner was finally revealed ,he jumped off his recliner like this favorite team had just won the Superbowl. No , he hadn’t become a converted Kanye West fan, he was just happy that he could announce to his millions of listeners the next morning that the best rap song was “N*ggas in Paris…”

On February 10th, the world will witness the 55th annual Grammy award show and rap royalty will be in the hizzouse . This ain’t nuthin’ unusual. However, what is news is that for the first time, a song featuring the controversial “N word” is in the running for an award, courtesy of Kanye West and Jay Z’s hit “N*ggas in Paris.” And since the song is nominated in two categories, the odds are in their favor.


Nas and KelisThe only other thing to come close to this monumental event is, perhaps, Nas and ex -wife Kelis sportin’ the N*gger T-Shirts on the Red Carpet at the 2008 show.

So the question is, if Kanye and Jay are successful, how are they gonna announce the winner and who is gonna do it ? Since the Grammy folks like to do the unexpected when it comes to announcing winners, I can’t wait to see Ted Nugent jump on stage and say “and the winner of the Rap Performance of the Year is “N*ggers in New Hampshire” …I mean “Coloreds Outta Compton”..Aw, shucks …”

Also, the fact that the awards are smack dab in the middle Black History Month makes matters worst.

If we look at the history of rap music and the Grammys, it is safe to say that the music was not always welcomed at the shows. Kinda like a thugged out version of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Although the genre was finally recognized as something more than ghetto noise by the late 80’s, controversy was created when the show would not televise the new category, prompting a boycott by Jazzy Jeff and Will “Fresh Prince” Smith and others in 1989.

So while some will be proud of the fact that 24 years later, Hip hop can proudly boast that it has produced the first N*gga song that could possibly win a Grammy, other Black folks, like myself, look upon the possibility with utter disgust. Especially considering that more socially relevant groups such as Brand Nubian and X-Clan never won the award , even though they are considered legends in the Hip Hop arena.

Perhaps most disturbing is that by rewarding such ignorance , it helps to legitimize the usage of the work in the eyes of White Americans.

Droppin’ the N bomb in the presence of White folks was once seen as a cultural no no. I can remember the controversy that arose when “George Jefferson’s “ white neighbor “Tom Willis” called him a n*gger on national TV on the 70’s sitcom “The Jeffersons


But thanks to Hip Hop groups, like NWA (Niggaz with Attitude) the word has , continuously, become less offensive, even though it is, technically, still taboo for white people to actually say the word.

Although, many point to Hip Hop for propagating the warped idea that the overuse of the word would take the power out of it, it was actually white comedian Lenny Bruce who suggested that back in the 60’s. It must also be remembered that John Lennon tried to universalize the term back in 1972 with the song , “Woman is the Nigger of the World.


It is oft repeated myth that the N Word is hip because it is a term of endearment that all Black people use to express brotherly love and racial solidarity.

Uh, no we “all “don’t.

There are probably more African Americans who, vehemently, oppose the word than those who embrace it.

Jay-Z and KanyeFor instance Philadelphia social worker, Abena Afreeka , who recently started a “N*gga Recovery Program” to help those addicted to using the word, opposes it because it acts as a psychological trigger to subconscious memories of slavery which results in negative behavior. Thus creating the perfect Manchurian candidate.

Despite the false idea that we now live in a color blind society, racism still exists. And when Black rappers use the word they are like Beyonce at the last Inauguration, lip syncing what many white folks in this country wish they could say out loud.

Which probably explains the massive crossover appeal of rappers who frequently use the word like Kanye West and Jay Z’s fellow Grammy contenders former gifted college athlete turned ratchet rapper, 2 Chainz ,and former correctional officer turned “gangsta ,“ Rick Ross.

In a climate where people like Quentin Tarantino feel comfortable releasing N Word laden movies and reality shows that feature African Americans as over sexed buffoons, it is time that we flip the script.

Hip Hop artists must stand up and denounce the use of the word in the same manner that they denounce safer and non- race specific issues like animal cruelty and bullying.

We must realize that the use of the word is just a throw back to slavery and until we stop identifying ourselves as n*ggas, we will continue to be 21st century mental slaves. It is not only the word that must die but the pathological behavior that has been associated with the word courtesy of Holly ‘hood and the music industry.

Like that classic scene from the old school Spike Lee flick “School Daze” when Dap (Laurence Fishburne) tells some brothas “you’re not nigga’s,” this must be our message in 2013.

But truth is there is a trace of the racial inferiority complex ,a carry over from the enslavement of our ancestors, in all of us. And in order for our fullest self to live, that part of us must die.

So before we can change the world we must change ourselves

As Chuck D once asked on the Autobiography of Mr. Chuck, “Can you kill the n*gger in you?”

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s website is No Warning Shots Fired.com.. Follow on Twitter @truthminista To contact the Black By Nature/Conscious By Choice Campaign contact info@nowarningshotsfired.com or call (919) 972-8305

11 comments on “Editorial: N*ggas at the Grammys (Kanye and Jay-Z)

  1. I been telling cats this since NWA and the 2 Live Crew where big..Suburban White people mostly embrace gangster rap and the more ignorant forms of our music..go to a karaoke bar and play Baby Got Back or Lil Jon…It’s the reason Chapelle took his show off the air…They call us Niggers because we made it okay and continue to act like niggers..

  2. There is nothing that we could call ourselves that would make white people look at us as equals.. The problem of race is not about a word.. It is about white supremacy. The more we occupy ourselves with how white people perceive us we will continue to dig ourselves deeper into slavery.. Look up the word black and tell me what’s positive about that.

  3. Jay Z and Kanye should be locked up and throw away the key. Anybody seen the video or heard the lyrics of Monster?

  4. I have never spent one lincoln (slavemaster cent) on these sell-outs.
    Ironic,how so many black’s really think they are doing it.
    They are 21st century step and fetchits.

  5. white people don’t go around calling each other honkies or go to the trailer and say yo whats up piece of trash.
    hispanics don’t call each other spics or wetbacks.
    I know very few Italians who call each other greaser guinea or dego. In my old neighborhood ; you would be putting yourself at high risk.
    So songwriters putting the N word out there ; I really don’t get it.
    I am not black but its offensive when I here it just walkin around ; because its used in a way very callously or non chalant.
    When I here it from a non African American blasting the word away in public ; I get defensive because the word has a kind of confrontational bite to it. Growing up in South Brooklyn ; I’ve seen raciall tension about as bad as it can get at times Bensonhurst; Bedsty; Bushwick whatever. The crew I ran was never about that -because I ran it with an iron fist and we had friends and so forth in the Bronx like The Fever. When it all comes down to it everybody is same color inside-show me someone who doesn’t bleed RED yo !!!!!!
    Best check yourself before you go blastin away that word of disrespect especially those not of that color . Not cool and bein damn fool.

  6. For the purposes of understanding why I would even respond to this article, me being a middle aged white woman, it helps to know that I grew up in the North Omaha Housing projects. The make up of the schools i went to during that time could best be described as looking like a very few marshmallows in a big box of cocoa puffs. But at the time it didn’t strike me as being different than any other school and it was a long time ago. So that’s why I’m here. Plus I see discussions about stuff that have an effect on all of us that I never see anywhere else. LIKE THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have a four girls and a 20-year old son. I’m not discussing the girls but I do have a comment on my boy and his friends. He has many friends from Afro-American to Hispanic to Asian to a Native American girl he had the hots for. It is amazing how a majority of the young people today don’t seem to notice skin color like they used to. At least, not the kids I meet through my son. And that is wonderful. But they all do one thing that I always told my kids NEVER to do. They use the word Nigga. My girls never would. Never. My boy and his friends use it like the term is a normal part of the language when referring to each other. Even though my boy is white as white gets he gets called that and he calls people that. I don’t like this. I don’t like it at all. It’s like when I was little and I was called a ‘paddy’ or a ‘cracker’. This is not acceptable. Not as far as I’m concerned. And I can’t make them stop it. Trust me, I only lecture my boy and a couple of his closest friends because I am comfortable with them. Otherwise I’m quiet on the subject. BUT I DON’T LIKE IT. Not one bit. But to them it’s just a word.

    No one should ever be rewarded for using this term. it is demeaning and cruel and harmful. I think that just because a black rapper or hip-hip artist makes it big that is not a reason or a justification for taking what, to me, amounts to a horrific slander and insult and pretending that it’s just another word. It is not. And I also believe that when black artists use this word it just reinforces the bigotry of those in other races that see black people in a bad light. It just gives them the power to say “See, even black people know…”

    That’s my two cents. That’s my view from the other side of the color bar.

  7. Pingback: For those “Hooked” on the n-word: NEW N*GGER RECOVERY PROGRAM | afreekalive

  8. Pingback: Editorial: N*ggas at the Grammys (Kanye and Jay-Z) | Havetv.com

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