The usage of the n-word in rap and hip-hop can be a tricky issue for fans. In an age where hip-hop has taken the throne as the most popular music of the times, the form obviously has gathered a wide fan-base that transgresses color and race.
The use of the word in rap lyric as Jay-Z recently pointed out in his interview with David Letterman — as used by a person of color has the intention of revolt: a reminder of the struggles against oppression. That being said, the fact remains that if you’re caucasian and singing along to your favorite Kendrick Lamar record, it is still absolutely not alright for you to drop the n-word.
Maybe if you’re nodding along, rapping alone in your car or in the shower and you’re really feeling the beat, it might be ok. But in public? Absolutely not. And if you’re onstage with Lamar himself in front of thousands of fans, what then?
That’s exactly the gasp-worthy position one white female Kendrick Lamar fan found herself in this past weekend when the Pultizer Prize winner headlined the Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama. During his set, as NME points out, there was a moment where he brought a fan from the crowd onstage to rap his 2012 track ‘m.A.A.d. City.’ Of course, such antics are not rare at a Kendrick concert, but this time, things got slightly out of hand.
Just a couple of bars into the track, Kendrick interrupted Delaney right after she casually rapped the n-word loud and clear. “Wait wait wait wait wait,” said Kendrick as the DJ killed the beat. Meanwhile, Delaney, who was completely oblivious to what she’d just done said, “Am I not cool enough for you? What’s up, bro? What’s up?”
“My boy Roland kinda knew the rules a little bit,” Kendrick started to explain before Delaney cut him off saying, “It was just really cool, bro. You gotta work with me.” That’s when Kendrick addressed the issue as deftly as possible: “You gotta bleep one single word, though.”
“I’m so sorry. Oh my god!” exclaimed the flustered fan. Kendrick went on to ask the crowd if she should get a second chance and the crowd’s reaction was not very positive. “No please keep me on here. I gotcha. I’m used to singing it like you wrote it,” she said, offering the worst possible excuse at the moment. “You sure?” Kendrick asked, and after Delaney promised to do it right, Kendrick gave her a second chance, only for Delaney to miserably fail at it all over again.
Watch the highly awkward and uncomfortable moment through fan-shot footage below:
— lil pushover (@madstervape) May 21, 2018
— Chandler Bradley (@chandlerbradle1) May 21, 2018