On Yelawolf, White Rappers & The N-Word

10.04.11 6 years ago 71 Comments

The above photos depict Yelawolf’s reaction when asked about Kreayshawn, V-Nasty (“Who?!?”) and the latter’s liberal use of the N-word. Lulz. But the interview continues and ‘Wolf gets serious, delivering opinionated facts in the process.

“Hip-Hop – and American music culture – is black culture. Don’t ever get it fucked up…I’m from the South. That shit don’t fly. It’s a very real situation. Know your roots, know where the fuck you’re getting this music from and respect it. And don’t embarrass white people and white rappers by doing that dumb shit, by dropping the N-bomb and thinking you’re all cool and shit. You’re going to find yourself slapped up and it might be by a white boy. Because you ain’t gonna embarrass me around my people like that. As a white rapper, it’s always been a big no-no. But as a human being, it’s been an even bigger no-no.”

He goes on to share how his mom wouldn’t allow use of the word in her house and would “slap the shit” out him for even trying to use it. I’ve met Yela’s mom once or twice and his stepdad briefly. Nice folks but they don’t seem like the kind of parents to toy with. And they raised a smart young man.

He raises a valid set of points that shouldn’t be limited to V-Nasty or just white people. Blacks too should realize even if we adopt the “oh, it doesn’t bother me” approach, the word itself is still a charged one for our parents and grandparents. Before we can confront and challenge other races not to use, we have to give it up too.

I’m not holier than thou. For a two year period, I did eliminate using it in any of my writings or even personal conversations. Since then, I’ve regressed but still temper my usage as to not say it in front of my kids or in the company of folks who aren’t close friends. So while I’m still struggling, I’ve placed the word in the same compartment as other curse words and foul language and usually stop to think before letting it slip off my tongue.

Everyone’s slowing their use and how they use it may not make an immediate impact on removing hundreds of years of negativity. But, starting somewhere should trump doing nothing at all to quell the term’s impact on future generations.

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