Permission Granted: Say “Nigga”

Many mornings I wake up and turn to VH1 or VH1 Soul in order to listen to music while I work. Today is Sunday, January 29, 2012. It is approximately 8:47am. Here I am watching VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown. Jim Shearer (white male) is hosting the show from a motorcycle expo in New York. As he is about to introduce Pittbull’s new video for his song “Latino’s in Paris” he says “Pittbull was inspired by Jay Z & Kanye West’s nephews in Paris. I have to use the word “nephews” for this TV broadcast.”

THEN BAM! It hit me! Jay Z and Kanye have given the world permission to use the word nigga or at least refer to them as such. This thought crossed my mind when the song was released BUT hearing it referred to on TV made the massive “OK” given on using the word “nigga” more real. I wonder how this would work if someone whose not black called them this is conversation, an interview, at the hospital, etc. Then said well your song says “niggas in paris” you’re not a nigga?

Questions & thoughts:

  1. So what does Jim Shearer call it when he’s not on the TV broadcast….”NIGGAS IN PARIS”
  2. Why have white males been making so many so-called slip ups in referring to black people lately? Black male president….hmmm…
  3. Does it matter that this song title will give millions of people regardless of race the permission to use the word “nigga” in public if referring to this song?
  4. Does Jay Z and Kanye even care about being called “niggas?”
  5. If the politically correct definition of the word “nigga” means ignorant does that mean the title of the song is interpreted as “ignorance in Paris” if so is that a good thing?
  6. How many people will read this, the title of the song, or in thinking about celebrities using the word nigga and say something “niggerish” like “but they got money tho?” As if money gives you permission to do whatever you want. It doesn’t to me, integrity first.
  7. Have we become so self-absorbed in individuality that we forget that to those who see us as niggas we will probably always be niggas?
  8. Does this mean we just say “ok well you think I’m a nigga I can’t change that lets add it to the title of a song anyway?”

I would love thoughts and comments on this. Click the comment button below. Follow this blog by clicking the “follow this blog” button on the right side of your screen.

Thank you for reading!

Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

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5 thoughts on “Permission Granted: Say “Nigga”

Add yours

  1. This is a great write. I’m simply of the opinion that the word nigga is derogatory. Nas was stopped from naming an album ‘nigga’ which eventually titled hero….but according to Abiodun Oyewole of the last poets he said and I quote ‘its silly and unproductive to have a funeral for the word ‘nigga’ when the actions s

  2. This is a great write. I’m simply of the opinion that the word nigga is derogatory. Nas was stopped from naming an album ‘nigga’ which eventually titled hero….but according to Abiodun Oyewole of the last poets he said and I quote ‘its silly and unproductive to have a funeral for the word ‘nigga’ when the actions still continue……niggas are like roaches learn from them what you should never become Coz niggaz don’t die’

  3. Well said. Reminds me of a poetry piece I just heard yesterday. I can’t paste the link from my iPhone but search for “SB.TV – Dean Atta – I Am Nobody’s Nigger” on YouTube. Brotha speaks the truth.

  4. I like the post, and I think Streetpoet’s response was on point. As far as usage of the word ‘Nigga’ or any other word goes, I believe people will generally only call you what you that to which you answer, and deliver as much respect as you demand. Kayne and Jay-Z still answer to ‘Nigga’.

  5. I actually am conflicted in my thoughts on it. I have been the “we can say it but they can’t” person as well as the “it’s how you use it” person. I am not sure if I want to hear it used at all, but it can easily roll off of my tongue when I am referring to something I consider ignorant or in the midst of a joke. I almost use the word “nigga” in the same tone that I use the word “yo.” Naming a song “Niggas in Paris” then referring to yourself as the niggas in Paris is intriguing to me. This means that not only do you consider yourself a nigga, but using the idea that other people maybe “sleeping” on you because you have the funds to go to Paris as a reason to call yourself a nigga doesn’t appeal to me. The beat appeals to me. The cool rhymes over it somewhat appeal to me, but the use of the word nigga in the title by Vj’s and Dj’s makes me think twice. Is it ok for Dj’s and Vj’s to call you in particular a nigga because you owned it? I guess yet.

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