Why do some people complain about the N-word being used in rap, when it's been used in rock too?

The lowest common denominator rap out there, where the n-word is used every other word... I do not listen to. But there many great rappers out there that have used that word more than a few times. A good example would be KRS-One. He's actually very well educated, and his rap has a message. It's not all this "look at how awesome I am" rap that is in the mainstream today. I was looking at Fox News interviews of musicians (because it's kind of funny watching a moron like Bill O'Reilly interviewing the likes of Marilyn Manson and Insane Clown Posse), and that's how I came across KRS-One. He explained it like this: The version of the n-word that ends in A (as opposed to ER) was actually created a while back as a way of combating those who called them the racist slur. So in a way, it's postive.

But getting back to the main question... I've heard the n-word in plenty of other music (and trust me, I listen to a large diversity of music - 190 different genres, 7125 songs). Here are just a few examples where I've heard the word used:

Holiday In Cambodia - Dead Kennedys

Woman Is the N!gg*r of the World - John Lennon

Rock 'N' Roll N!gg*r - Patti Smith

One In a Million - Guns N' Roses

Irresponsible Hate Anthem - Marilyn Manson


"who really cares what Axl Rose thinks?"

wait a minute... THAT MAN ACTUALLY THINKS!? WTF? I didn't know that. lol

Update 2:

I actually forgot it was used in "Los Angeles." That was actually the first X song I ever heard.

8 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the 1970's, attempts were made by white people to use the word in a new context, supposedly robbing the word of some of its offensive power, in much the way the word "queer" was rehabilitated.

    However, it didn't work. Take the John Lennon song, for example. He's using the word sympathetically, to describe the position of women in society. However, it's a stupid song; women never had it as bad as blacks did. The Patti Smith one is an exercise in her shock poetry, it's a little embarrassing to listen to it in public.

    The Guns n Roses one is a misanthropic, xenophobic rant that showed Axl to be the meathead redneck everyone always knew he was; one of the most stupid songs ever written.

    The best use of the word in a rock song is in "Los Angeles" by X, although even there it borders on gratuitous.

    Frankly, given the history of the word, and how it continues to be misused, it is simply a word that can't be used without a lot of baggage going along with it. After the liberal flirtation with the word in the 70's, white people largely dropped any effort to rehabilitate or recontextualize the word. it just was too ugly for most people, and whites generally stopped using it, except a moron like Axl.

  • 9 years ago

    A and ER arent the same words. I think it was used in Holiday in Cambodia and Los Angeles well. I hear A all the time and it is used much in the same way as dude but its expected to be just a term used by african americans and ive seen white people jumped for saying it. What gets me with how much damage ER caused why am i getting called every racial slur for being white and it is acceptable? i think no one should use words to demean someones skin color. ive never said ER i never will because the last thing we need in the world is more hate and division and just because its wrong on premise.

    The reason people complain about the N word in rap is its just recalling a term from history that shouldve long been burried (even though its A not ER its still associated), as well as the fact of the sheer volume it is used at in rap. Sure if you have a message use it if you have to, dont pepper it in for street cred. tupac, NWA, Dre are all examples of this as well as immortal technique. Like if youre on the radio right now, you shouldnt ever use the word because nothing on the radio has a message anymore. In rock it isnt used very often but when it is 8 out of 10 times its used stupidly, although there have been a few well used ones.

  • nellie
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    I do not consider rap is corrupting our society. I consider it's only a style of track, a style of expression (similar to rock and roll) and must be considered as a style of amusement ONLY. I consider it is the fault of the mom and dad who don't instruct their kids approximately what they listen within the songs....they must have a speak with the younger ones and allow them to realize that what they listen in the ones songs isn't the best way the sector is. Those rappers fairly wouldn't have all that cash and all that jewellery. All of the ones scantily clad females aren't their girlfriends. It's no longer ok to speak like them or to take a look at and acquire that way of life. It's no longer correct to bring weapons, to promote medicinal drugs, to be a pimp, and many others. It's humorous how you are making a difference among SOME rock and roll that has satanic and demonic overtones - no longer all, however you paint rap track with a large brush. Not all rap track is anti-white and anti-feminine. It obviously can't all be anti-white b/c I see scads of white men and ladies paying attention to rap of their autos on a everyday foundation...making a song along side the track and it seems that having fun with themselves. Parents must step as much as the plate and get energetic of their kid's lives. If the kids aren't mature adequate to appreciate that it is simply track, then probably the mom and dad must no longer enable their kids to hear it.

  • Tito
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Like you said theres a big difference in it end with an A or an ER. In black culture it ending with an A is almost a replacement for like the word dude and isnt mean in a hostile manner unless shown. However it being used by a non african descendent is usally deemed asbad unless that person is well respect by his african-american peers. It ending with an ER is just an all around term of disrespect as giving the 400 past years of the african america lifestyle you can understand why.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Well if you look at (most) of the songs you've listed, it's used as a metaphor or to combat political stances, wheras in rap it's used as a derogatory term and/or for shock value

  • Opiner
    Lv 7
    9 years ago


    a. it's extraordinarily rare that it's used in rock, whereas it's used VERY frequently in rap and

    b. it's not used as a racial slur. Well maybe in One in a Million it is, but hey, who really cares what Axl Rose thinks? :)

  • 9 years ago

    Wow, thats awful what we've came to.

    I believe a black man thinks its okay to call his fellow black dude a *****a, but not nigge*r, just *****a, and I guess thats just code for bredren.

    But it really hurts when I hear the word from anyone. Not gonna lie, I used it before in my songs.

    Source(s): I'm black. I'm 12. I'm. . . beautiful.
  • xctox
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    People need to quit biitching about it being used at all.

    It's just a word that for whatever reason (don't explain to me, I don't care)

    has a negative connotation.

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