Chicago rap veteran Common took part in an open ESPN panel called “Outside the Lines” over the weekend to discuss the dreaded N-word debate and why he won’t stop using the controversial term.
During the segment, Common explained how he even turned down his mother’s request for him to stop dropping N-bombs.
“At one point, my mother asked me [not to] use it, at one point Dr. Maya Angelou said she didn’t support it and you know, I love her,” Common said during a special ESPN broadcast. “I told mom, ‘This is the way we talk. This is part of the language and when I’m speaking to the people that need to receive the word, I’m speaking in the language that we do talk and if I talk over those people’s heads or I don’t use language that I naturally would speak in my raps, they may not get the message and that’s what I think our attention behind the usage of the word has to be understood. When you talk about kids, these kids are not fighting each other because of the N-word.” (ESPN)
The G.O.O.D. Music artist also explained there are certain people who should not be allowed to use the controversial term.
“When I use the word in my raps, I’m using it as a way to communicate because I do communicate like that,” Common added. “And I won’t stop communicating like that but I will make people aware that it’s certain people who shouldn’t use this word becaue of the root of the word. Yeah we took it inside our house and made it our own and now we brought it out to the world. Fortunately hip-hop is at the level it is but unfortunately some people don’t understand that they shouldn’t use it so we gotta make them aware. ‘No, you can’t use this word. This is something that’s off limits to you.'” (ESPN)
Last year, Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator said the age gap played a significant role on how the N-word topic impacted people.
“We don’t actually give a f*ck about that sh*t,” Tyler said in an interview. “Motherf*ckers who care are the reason racism is still alive. [The people who fought for civil rights,] that’s sick. That’s cool. [Why don’t I care?] I guess people my age, we’re not even thinking like that. When you think like that, you keep the racism alive when that’s not even on our palette.” (Hot 97)
In summer 2012, television mogul Oprah Winfrey spoke to G-Unit’s 50 Cent about the controversial topic.
Winfrey also took aim at 50 over his use of the ‘N’ word, confessing she and rap mogul Jay-Z had agreed to disagree about the provocative slang word. He responded, “When you’re actually using it with malice in your heart, you can feel the difference… If it’s being used by someone that you know isn’t using it in a racial term, it doesn’t impact the same… I just think you’re identifying with how it originated and it should exist based on that (alone).” (Toronto Sun)
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Check out Common’s comments: