“Wouldn’t you like to be a Nigger too?”

“I’m a nigger, he’s a nigger, she’s a nigger, we some niggers,
wouldn’t you like to be a nigger too?
They like to strangle niggers, blaming niggers, shooting niggers, hanging niggers,
still you wanna be a nigger too?”

NAS had my attention before, when he was going to name his new CD “Nigger”. That has been scrapped and the CD will be untitled from what I hear, but I’m loving his new CD cover. What I’m REALLY REALLY REALLY loving today is his new song “Be a Nigger too” and the video for it. You can check it out below. I’m so excited about this song. The song in the video is longer than the CD version, but I think they should change that. I know some of you won’t be able to get past the n-word. That’s ok. I know it’s painful. However, as a child of black revolutionaries…I love this s**t. I think it’s conscious and I haven’t heard much consciousness in hip hop music lately. In the video he says,

“They say we N-I Double G E-R, We Are, Much More, But still we choose to ignore the obvious/ We are the Slave And the Master. What you lookin for? You the question and the answer.”

Yes we really are.

30 Comments

Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, celebrity, community, culture, hate, hip hop, media, n-word, opinion, race, stereotype, video, youtube

30 Responses to “Wouldn’t you like to be a Nigger too?”

  1. Ktruth

    This is hot!

  2. Let me say up front that I’m not black, and that I’m genuinely looking for guidance here. When my daughter was about 5 years old, we were watching an episode of “Family Matters” together (that’s how long ago this was). In the episode, someone had spray-painted the notorious word on a locker in school. My daughter looked at me and said “What’s nigger?” She had never heard the word and the question caught me completely off-guard. I told her it was a word she should never, ever use and, fortunately I was able to use the rest of the episode to point out to her how unhappy and angry that word had made all of the people in the family. I hope she learned. The thing is, I’m not sure what I should tell a 5-year old today if the same situation should arise. This is a very powerful video that you’ve posted here that illustrates where this country was before and still is today. It just seems to me that what was once a very solid line has now been blurred, and I don’t know if a person of that age would grasp the message in the imagery beyond the words of the song. So, in all earnestness, what would you tell a 5-year old white child who asked you the meaning of that word? This is in no way a criticism, I just don’t want to be caught off-guard again.

  3. My simple answer to you is that you should tell her not to use the word (for a variety of reasons), but without some context it doesn’t really help the cause. White children should understand the history of the n-word…not just that it’s taboo or hurtful. They should also understand the concept of white privilege and the history of race in America that many times gives them a leg up in society compared to other racial groups. Without context, it has a different meaning (example: NAS saying “My Nigger” vs. a slave master saying that)

    It is better to educate your child about racism than to just suggest they not say particular words in public. What really changes the world is what you think, cause you can say whatever you want behind closed doors.

    Now…I know we are talking about a 5 year old, but there are books about African history, the enslavement of Africans in the Americas, the Jewish holocaust, early Asian Americans in the US…all for that age range. You will make the world better for people of color by raising a child that is not color blind…but someone who has been raised with an awareness of the history of color and racism.

  4. c

    i really want to comment on this, it was powerful, but i don’t even know what to say.

    On the one hand- yessss! Yes it is brutal truth and we need this. But on the other hand, something inside me cringed with not only the millions of n-s, but the idea that the message may be lost in that word- even though for us, the message is his use of the word. Others will exploit this. i can guarantee that the little frat boys in the next town over will be bumpin that loud and not get a thing from it but some giggles and a rush off the shocked stares of those within earshot.

    i just don’t know how i feel about it exactly. Not yet.

  5. Wise words. Thank you. I believe you’re right on target. I would have said that I wanted my child to be color-blind, but I see that that’s really an injustice. I appreciate your response.

  6. Very good points C. The only thing I can say is that Nas’s message in this song would not get heard as loudly without his use of the n-word. It will get press because of it. Bloggers will blog about he song because of it. That’s just America. You need controversy to be heard sometime.

    Young frat boys have a variety of songs on the new Lil Wayne CD to choose from (and a ton of other hip hop CDs) if they want to bump songs with the n-word. Hopefully they (and people like them who just may get a kick out of saying the word) might get the point and think about the word in a different way.

    Maybe not. Who knows really? Better the n-word go to some good use…cause it’s not going away any time soon.

  7. c

    i hadn’t thought about it that way, sista.
    Besides, Nas knows his intent, many will get his intent, and for those who don’t get it there is a chance for dialogue.

  8. put my own article up about the vid earlier today… i don’t, it seems like a lot of blogs haven’t caught on yet- yours is the only other one i’ve seen that posted the vid.

    but yeah, i think if this song is a accurate depiction of the rest of the album, it might go a long way in educating a lot of people, or atleast makin them more aware of things

  9. E Zora Knight

    I am a Nas fan. I agree with the message in the lyrics and video was poignant. I am concerned the excessive use of igga will fall upon deaf/”ignorant” ears. Last year at the National Poetry Slam I was horrified that the highest score the night of finals came from a poem that had the n-word in it over 30 times. It was written and performed by an all African American/Black Team who reportedly “hated iggas”. It was awkwardly clever, in that Chris Rock kind of way. The judges were all white. I felt in my heart they (the judges) missed the message, and found humor in the idea that a bunch of iggas, hate iggas. Most poets, especially those from “both” coasts were insulted and angered by the poem and the score.
    This video reminded of that night and feeling. When given an opportunity to use the world as a stage and its masses your audience, it is important to ensure that your targeted audience will get the message. Stats and records sales dictate that this cd will not be purchased by those who need or can appreciate the message. Good post, as always!

  10. NB

    I hope someone brings this word into the open. It has weight because it can still deeply offend. The gangster rappers and elements within the black community took the word, flipped it 180 and made it an endearment. Kinda like how we call each other ‘dude’. But with more love. “That’s my nigga over there.” That is from one black man who has genuine freindship and a strong bond for another black man. Beautiful. Enlarge the scope of the word so that everyone (without regard to race) can embrace someone special as ‘My nigga’. It desensitizes the word and takes out the hate.

  11. NB

    By the way…..peace, love, and Seoul.

  12. thescoop

    Now it becomes very clear why the rest of the world think very little about the intelligence of African Americans. No one with any ounce of sanity takes a word that dehumanized their ancestors and embrace it with tender loving care. It takes a one sick puppy to do some moronic sh-t like that.

  13. -thescoop

    you completely missed the point. nas’ is not embracing the term “nigga/nigger”. this whole song is almost entirely talking about the people at the top and the people at the bottom(niggers, be it black, latino, asian, or other)

    but then. . . that’s what i got out of it

  14. thescoop

    -Jerel Ellegood

    No, that’s just it I am not missing the point, the point is, the historical meaning of the n-word is etched in stone, it can’t be defused and/or sanitized, and when one fully understands the historical meaning of that word you will then understand that…there is no such thing as a n**ger.

    The white world has ran one tremendous con game on the black race, and you have brought it hook, line and sinker. Brainwashed you so bad that you have put the word to music and shaking your booty to it. Now that is one hell of a mind job that’s be perpertrated upon the minds of black people.

    The earlier comments by “sista” suggested that white people can’t use the word and that they should learn the history of this word. Well that is also ditto for black people as well…even more so.

    I have listened and watch the video “Be a N**ger Too” SMDH.

  15. I guess I can see your perspective, somewhat… I use to be all-out against the ‘n-word’. But that was before I realized there were more important things to fight.

    But I still feel that you missed the point of the video because you are interpreting it like just about any other rap song/video out that uses the “n-word”. This song is not one of ‘those’. This song is, like I was saying before, about struggle. If this song was just like everything else, nobody would be blogging about it in the first place.

    It’s funny that you say I’m brainwashed by the “white world” when your the who is upset about a word. There are genocides, diseases, and institutionalized racism and your whining about a word- no sir my friend, brainwashed I am not. . . I simply looking at the bigger picture. . . and appreciating good and insightful music. . .

  16. thescoop

    America’s historic origin of the n-word is vile and infamous. It began in indignity. It began in immorality. Why would one think that its meaning could be morphed over time and take on a positive perspective? Simple answer: It cannot. Like a scorpion turning its stinger on itself, there are many Black Americans who relish the thought of internalizing the n-word. They rightfully so cry foul when being disrespected by non-blacks, but all in the same breathe, they think nothing of disrespecting themselves with the very same word–n**ger. The consciousness and dignity of African Americans must rise and rid of the term forever.

    Blacks scream “No Justice! No Peace!”; we march, rally, and protest; we call the police and mayor all kinds of names and demand their resignations; they voice outrage at all the injustices. Yet we think nothing of the injustices we perpetuate upon ourselves. We disregard the continual slaying of our ancestors’ memories by affectionately and endearingly invoking use of the n-word, and now Nas is extending an invitation to the entire world, as though the n-word is something covetous.

    “Affectionate” users of the n-word claim that the manner in which they use the term defuses any of the heinous roots attached to the word. However, these same African Americans conveniently overlook the paradoxical circumstances when they also use the word derogatorily in a fit of rage; at these moments, the true sub-conscious understanding and definition of the word rises to the surface, with all of its hate, degradation, and disrespect attached in full blossom. By continually referring to self and one another as “n**ger”, blacks are keeping the dream of the slave mentality alive and oppressing their own people.

    Indeed, we live in a nation that does not value all people as humans–a nation where many still look upon Blacks as nothing more than n**gers; and ironically enough, some African Americans still look upon themselves in the same light.

    No sense of racial pride, dignity, honor or self-respect is exhibited by the Black Americans who advocate use of the word. They fail to understand the link between the social, political and economic problems of the Black community–which stem from the root cause: mental enslavement–and this infamous word.

    Blacks were conditioned and programmed to accept the label of being a n**ger or subhuman, an undermining strategy to put blacks in their so-called place. Though the slaves were freed in 1865, 143 years later, many African Americans are still mentally enslaved through the use of this word. They internalized the idiom, and would simply be lost without it; for some people, old habits are hard to break.

    The use of the N-word is a passively slick form of psychological, social, mental, and spiritual abuse. It’s unfathomable, but many people have actually become immune to hearing the N-word – not good at all!

  17. You can’t debate with someone who won’t look at the facts. . . sigh*

    But like I said, Nas was making a point, sending a message, one that you obviously missed. I’m not trying to get you to see things my way, but to rather understand that you’ve misinterpreted the point of the song and film.

    “No sense of racial pride, dignity, honor or self-respect is exhibited by the Black Americans who advocate use of the word.”

    Whose advocating for the ‘n word’. Not me. Not Nas.

    smh

  18. No way around it, Nas is on the wrong track! Don’t be fooled into thinking he’s making a progressive video. Bottom line is that he will continue to use the N-word because he thinks it’s all right. This word was created to dehumanize Black people and it’s plainly and simply — NOT ACCEPTABLE.

  19. thescoop

    Jerel you should be shaking your head. There is one simple solution, stop referring to yourself and your brothers and sisters as the n-word. It is simply unconscionable that you think no more of yourself and your race than that.

    This is no longer your name, you were freed 143 years ago. It’s okay now, yes, you were beaten to a pulp back then to accept being called a n**ger, but today is a new day, you need not be like the Japanese who were held up in a cave for more than 20 years thinking that WWII was still being waged and when upon finally leaving the cave was surprise to learn how the war actually ended 20 years earlier.

    Wake-up my man, you are no longer a n**ger, there is no such thing, never was.

  20. I don’t refer to myself as a nigger, nigga, negro, etc. I never have, I simply find it disrespectful to my ancestors. But at the same time, I understand there are more important fights that need to be waged!

    I am awake, that’s why I focus on the negative impacts of hip-hop culture, institutionalized racism, and poverty in the U.S. before a word. . . SMH, lol

    u gotta look at the bigger picture man

  21. thescoop

    Well at least we can agree on something, thanks for clarifying your position and the self-respect you have for yourself, now if we can only get the rest of our brother and sisters to have the same kind of respect for themselves.

    Seems as though the only area of disagreement that we have is what should be considered as the bigger picture.

    I covered this earlier but we’ll go over it once again, understand one thing when I have control of your mind, I am your master, lord and conqueror. If I can break you down over a period of time and convince you that you are a pedophile, I then own you, lock, stock and barrel.

    The only way you will overcome my control is to take back your mind, and stop relating to yourself as a pedophile. Until you do I have the power to control your way of thinking.

    And that my son, is the big picture, re-claiming control of something which was taken away from you almost 400 years ago…YOUR MIND.

    Until you have control of your mind, nothing else gets resolved…NOTHING.

    Only a fool believes differently, and that isn’t a put down on you, that is just simply a fact. Blacks have been fools for way too long and need to wake-up. Sorry for the put down, but only a fool will take a word as demeaning and degrading as n**ger and all that it stands for and apply it to themselves.

    Same as you would be if you allowed me to make a pedophile out of you.

    Clearly, based on your comments, you are free and have taken back control of your mind…so why are you so content in having the rest of your brothers and sisters remain mentally ENSLAVED?

  22. i agree with the “enslavement logic” that your describing but would like to take it one step further.

    for a good many years following slavery, the brainwashing was in full swing and most blacks were under a “spell” of sorts. but that period has come and gone- right now, most blacks are under their own spell. whereas it was once whites holding them back, they are now holding back themselves(that’s not to say that racism and everything no longer exists)but yeah, i don’t know if that makes any sense…

    i’m so much content with the problem as i am disturbed and perplexed on how to go about remedying it. it’s an uphill battle…

    as far as the n word goes, everytime i hear it or use it, i remember slavery and racism and hatred. but maybe that’s because i was raised in a household that made me aware of my heritage beginning at a very young age. but these memories i have upon hearing the n word are quite painful and i often times think if i was only born 100 or 200 years earlier, it would be EVEN more painful to hear… i guess what hurts me so much is that we are the only ones who find it necessary to use a term meant to degrade us. jews don’t. . . latinos don’t. . . native americans don’t. . . asians don’t. . . . . . .sigh*

  23. yvonnjanae

    The Scoop can filibuster his or her way through this thread, but that doesn’t make their point of view the correct one.
    If anyone sees Nas’ video and gets the opinion that he is glorifying the word or inviting others to use it — well, they clearly don’t get it.
    I used to work at a radio station, a white station that played contemporary music. I would get calls from listeners who would ask me, “Are you a nigger? ‘Cause if you are, I’m not going to listen to this station anymore.”
    I almost didn’t know HOW to answer. Yes, I am black. Does that make me a nigger? The fact that I am probably more articulate, intelligent, sophisticated and personable than them counts for nothing?
    I wouldn’t answer, by the way, I would hang up.
    Now the word no longer causes me any pain at all. If I am a nigger, I will be a nigger — bigger, smarter, blacker, stronger than anyone who uses it in any context. It’s called growing up.

  24. thescoop

    “for a good many years following slavery, the brainwashing was in full swing and most blacks were under a “spell” of sorts. but that period has come and gone- right now, most blacks are under their own spell. whereas it was once whites holding them back, they are now holding back themselves(that’s not to say that racism and everything no longer exists)but yeah, i don’t know if that makes any sense…”

    Yes, it makes a lot of sense. Perhaps what I’m about to say next can shed some light on things, yes some blacks are under their own spell, but those who are didn’t get that way on their own. To fully understand our people and their ways requires delving into a Pandora’s Box of sorts.

    Something that both black and white America isn’t too inclined to do, albeit for different reasons. Today all of America are victims of a very dark, ugly and sinister past. To stroke the cold ashes and conjure up all that our ancestors had to endure, can be a very painful and bitter experience for any black African American. For white descendants whose forefathers were complicit in such inhumane and uncivilized behaviors can bring on guilt trips of enormous proportions which for obvious reasons they have no craving desire to experience.

    To give you an idea how arkward this delimma can be think about the movie Roots (if you saw it), all that went on in the movie pales in comparisons to how it really was. Roots only touched the tip of the iceberg. Understanding the past allows you to understand the present and why many of our people are the way they are.

    The American academe in many ways have failed us, and by us I mean both black and white Americans alike. Generations of people have grown up, educated from kindergarten to college and yet are totally ignorant about the history behind the n-word. Today, it is nothing more than a racial slur, but there lies a powerful and potent history behind this word which contains answers to all the many questions that abounds throughout our community today.

    In a nutshell, most Americans, black or white, simply have no inclination to want to go back and truly uncover all of the ugliness, and to be candid whites will not, but blacks need to. We need to fully understand the harm, sub-consciously, that we are exposing ourselves to each and everytime we refer to one another as the n-word. And the only way this can be done is by taking it upon ourselves to do our due diligence, research, educate and learn not only about our past, but also learn about the powers of the mind.

    The mind is no joke, the Creator gave us all one to use, the only problem is very few of us do. There was a time we could place all blame at the white man’s door, but today, this day and age, there is simply no excuse for remaining ignorant.

    Just one other quick note, there are many who refuse to accept and believe that there is power behind this word. When the white majority uses it against us, it has no power unless we give it power, in other words the word can’t hurt you unless you allow it too. But when unsupecting blacks uses it towards one another the word is given enormous power, why because the power isn’t being defused. When you reject a non-blacks
    use of the word, you have rendered it powerless, but the same thing isn’t happening when blacks use it, the very embracement of this word is the same as saying this word is your friend, nothing could be further from the truth.

    The word has almost 400 years of built up sinister negative energy and for anyone who understands the power of thoughts and words they will understand what the stakes are in black America’s insistence on wanting to play with this word. You may as well go out get yourself a gun and play Russian roulette with it, because this is exactly what is happening with this nonsense pertaining to the use of the word n**ger(a).

  25. thescoop

    “If anyone sees Nas’ video and gets the opinion that he is glorifying the word or inviting others to use it — well, they clearly don’t get it.
    I used to work at a radio station, a white station that played contemporary music. I would get calls from listeners who would ask me, “Are you a nigger? ”

    yvonnjanae, just to clear the air I am male. When I view Nas’ video I do not get the impression that he is trying to encourage people to refrain from using the word and why they should do so.

    Your experience with the radio station the question asked of you “Are you a n**ger?” Your answer should have been no and then continued on. There is no such thing as a n**ger. When you truly educate yourself and understand what’s behind this word and the true purpose of it, you then begin to understand the mind games that’s being played. Trust me when the day comes that black America comprehends and understands that they have been conditioned to accept and keep this word alive, will be the day that they also will come to realize that they have the power to destroy it. Yes, black America is NOW the key to the destruction of this word.

    Look around you, listen, who is it that is truly keeping this word alive. This very word’s survival is contingent upon African Americans use of it.

    Black comedians, rappers all are making a living off this word. Mega millions are being made off the n-word. Blacks from kindergarten through college can’t do without the word, the word rolls off their lips as easily as breathing. Rappers become delirous on their albums using the word close to a thousand times on one CD album and this is not hyperbole.

    You can refer to this as filibusting all you want, but trust me I know exactly what I’m talking about.

  26. Rhythmz

    I would say that Nas’ video made it’s point. Look at the dialog it has started. I think that’s a start, don’t you?

  27. thescoop

    Depends on what point you are making reference to? In terms of dialog, it has been going on now for the past two years which had a lot to do with his coming up with this video and his soon to be release new album in the firs place. Question for you though, are you a user of the n-word? Do you refer to yourself and your black brothers and sisters as n**gers?

  28. KamikaK

    This really touched me but like C I don’t know what to say. I was riveted by the imagery and the words. Felt the dormant activist in me want to rise up.

    I’m torn, we as a people are conflicted. We like the word, we hate the word, we’ll fight behind the word but we won’t abolish the word in order to end the issue all together. We want to be equal and share the same rights as everyone else but we ourselves routinely put in “out” clauses for ourselves as in they can’t use the word nigger. We say we want to be equal but we really only want our opportunity to subject, which is what we do amongst ourselves daily in our very own communities.

    I think the message is going to get lost.

  29. johnnyb

    Just another black man playing the victim. “Niggers” like him can’t move on from shit that never even happened to him.
    Read “White Guilt” by black author, Shelby Steele. He’s got it right. Nas, on the other hand, is what he says he is. A nigger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>