Can Rap Music Wholly Avoid the N-Word?

Clap for a n**** with his rapping ass / Blow a stack for your n**** with your trapping ass

Now imagine if that lyric, or any other one that involves the N-word, was replaced with brotha, real man, homie, or any other term OTHER than that one. Can it happen? It should. The term of “endearment” has not only been a catalyst for musical success for some rappers, but also the downfall of an entire community. 

Calling someone “my n****”, dat n****, or anything of the sort just can’t cut it anymore. We live in this allegedly post-racial society, but we still don’t earn respect within communities if we don’t command it. First step, remove that derogatory term. You can use anything else you’d like, just leave a term that reflects 400 years of slavery and oppression in that era. 

In fact, the removal of such a word could lead to economic prosperity in so many different forms. Musically speaking, it can change how much money some of these up and coming artists make when they’re trying to be heard. 

White rappers don’t use the word, and they all seem to have a notable fan base, as well as significant plays on the airwaves. Satellite, digital, and standard radio all will play music that they don’t have to chop and screw with to cut out every n-word. Not to mention, artists can earn more money if they can gain notoriety on these radio stations, contracts for record labels will come their way sooner. Don’t believe me, see how Macklemore is doing right now. VMA’s, platinum records, awards galore. All without calling anyone a derogatory term. His songs crush airwaves and internet radio so soundly (btw s/o to the homie Jay Postal for being the first to play it on live radio).

So what can we do about this? As a culture, stop using it within our own comfort, and then other cultures who try to mimic it will then look stupid as the appropriation they participate in is no longer justified by any means. 

Another options is within the legal documents of the music industry. Since most of these idiots and their managers skim through documents, throw in a “no n***a clause”. Yeah, one where for every time they use the word, they lose percentages of royalties on the track, or album, what have you.

I challenge every rapper to become a poet, and every poet to teach rappers about lyrical intelligence and we will create the same songs over the same beats but without plaguing an entire society. More profits will come to rappers because they have songs on the airwaves. “Thrift Shop” wont be over played and oversaturate the entire market. Black Hippy, ASAP Mob, and Odd Future among every other rap group can take each other on with the lyrical prowess we should expect from each of them. The south can keep making trap music because it allows for diversity and creativity. But like Kendrick alluded to on his Control verse: rep where you’re from and not what you want to be. 

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