Nigga: Musically invasive or endearment?

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The word nigga has been embeded and embraced in and through the music industry.  There have been major civil shifts in the consciousness of music and this powerful word is trespassing upon and reprogramming the minds of those who frequently use it. Firstly, let me be very clear when I say this is not a word of tolerance but one of pain, degredation and reoccurring strife. The word nigga, is one associated with negativity: skin tones, displacement, poverty, thugs, and low education levels. In the urban dictionary under closely related words are words listed such as gangster, racist, coon and ghetto just to name a few–none of which would make a person feel loved from being called as such. 

Somewhere back down memory lane the word nigga changed, from lower than nigger slave, to nigga, a term of endearment between people of color. Although there are many who say they have no issue with the use of the word and use it themselves, that only goes for the use of the word by those of color. Tupac said that “nigga was a term referring to a black man with gold chains on his neck and nigger was the term referring to a black man with slave chains on his neck.” It seems that we have and continue to reprogram this newer generations thinking to be shallow, unrealistic, and not that of the leaders needed to redirect our communities. The older generations are more than appauled that such a word could ever be used as endearment for one another after the negative connotations that have been built on and around the word nigga.

Almost every major black artist from lil Wayne to Drake and Jay Z all have lyrics embeded with the word nigga. Some are trying to show a bond with others alike and some are stereotypically implying that others are less than or something other than a higher class of nigga, the same reference as speaking about the slaves. It’s time to make a conscious choice going forward in the realm of independent music and choose a real term of endearment or just a not discriptive word that does not have such a horrible connotation attached. Nigger and nigga both hold the same connotations as they have always held, a disregard for certain people. Whether that disregard is for those of color or to prove that people of color have entitlement both stimulate stereotypes that have since been said to be put to rest.

The history of the word has a tarnished and blackened identity that has been exclusively placed on the heads of all people of color. In an attempt to reclaim identities or create what was thought to be self-empowerment back fired allowing people of color to disrespect themselves without the help of outside forces. This self segregation although implemented by force was the result of the forceful use of words and if is not shifted will continue to plague the music industry and ultimately everyone.


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