Monday, January 18, 2010

A Wake Up Call to Anyone who Marginalizes Gangster Rappers as Being Stupid or Inarticulate

This is a video of rapper Mike Bigga, formerly known as Killa Mike, answering the question why do we still use the N-word today? Listen carefully, because he starts answering the question right away.

Mike Bigga and Dr. Cornel West Speak on the N-Word from on Vimeo.

This serves as an excellent short lecture on the relevance and significance of a word versus the connotation of that word; and as such, a rebuttal of those who say that the N word is a bad word no matter who is using it. It also offers us what might be a previously unclear lesson on why white people should avoid using this word with a troublesome history; especially in a nonacademic context. It is simply difficult to understand the tone and connotation with which a white person person might imbue the word. And it is much easier to imagine someone who is not black using this word in a hateful manner.

This video also serves as a different sort of rebuttal: a wake-up call to those who would dismiss gangster rappers as boneheads; and obviously and unfortunately, those people are still out there. This is a guy whose name was Killa Mike; who to the untrained ear sounded just like any other gangster rapper. And he is articulate enough to have Cornel West building upon his point rather than making a completely individual one, or arguing. Pretty impressive.

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