Friday, May 30, 2008

Is he taking this Nigger thing too far?

Friday, May 30, 2008


Nas announced earlier this month that he isn't calling his ninth studio album 'Nigger' anymore, but that isn't stopping him from making a racially, socially and politically charged statement. Here's the album cover of the project, which will be untitled when it hits stores on July 2008, and the first single called "Be a Nigger Too", which is a decent track, btw.

Now...I'll concede that good artists create controversial art and I take my hat off to Nas for continuing to push the social envelope. I've gotta admit that Nas kinda copped out here. He changed the title because the public bitched and moaned about the word Nigger, so he said...I'll give you a visual of what you people consider a nigger.

That was laudable, but I would've one-upped him.

If that were my album cover and I were making a similar statement, I would've said...fuck pushing the envelope, I'm gonna rip that bitch to shreds.

My cover would feature a black and white photograph of my dead black carcass being hanged from a noose attached to the branches of a white oak or white willow with a bunch of white people standing at the foot of a whip-wielding white man as he leaves W-shaped lashes on my back.

That's how you make a statement, Nas. If you're gonna do something...DO IT!

Anywho...is this controversy a good thing? Does this type of thing help or hurt racial relations? Should Nas be applauded for his controversy or publicly stoned?

Discuss.


The Single

16 comments:

Sean Stone said...

Gotta check this out at home. I'll get back to you...

My initial reaction when loading the page: Aww shit!!!

ShawnQt said...

I love how he untitled it and just used an image to convey his image! It isn't a word, but a concept...

I have to listen to the song when Im not at work.

Anonymous said...

Those whip marks could have been done better.

D.LavarJames said...

LOVE NAS!!!

LOVE EVERYTHING HE DOES,

CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEW ALBUM

making America and the World think for once, LOve It!!!!

Rahshek said...

I think its a great thing. I am excited to hear that he changed the title and to see the direction in which he is taking it. Seems to me like this could launch its self right into the prefect debate on race, class, social economic relations, something which has been lacking in this country for a minute now. Between the election and a musical project at this, we could be a the tipping point to another great debate over racial relations.

YoungBlack&DL said...

Now what I heard Mr. Jones, is that he was forced to change the name by the record company, not because of the publics opinion. In the end of the day, this is still a business, and sure enough if the name of the album was NIGGER, thna Walmart, Target, and other "family stores wouldn't" sell it.

I guess it's a good thing your not an artist then, or your record wouldn't be sold hardly anywhere, unless online. If he had a picture of his dead body, hung from an old oak tree, do you really think stores, would display that on a shelf...really, Mr.Jones?

I get where your coming from, about pushing beyond the envelope, and tearing it up, but artist still have to find a balance between that... which I call artistic creativity, and the business of music, marketing to be able to sell albums. i would love to see that as an ablum cover, hell I think it should be his naked dead body, but I think we have to be a little realistic.

I think Nas should be applauded for his controvery, it gets people talking...like you are doing right here. Whether or not it will help racial relations, is debatable, but I don't think it could do any hurt or harm. THe controversay is good, for him actually, like I said it gets people talking, and controversay usually equals to album sales, hes not the kind of guy to get arrested or shot before an album. He does his controversay in a different way. Just like the last album, naming it hip hop is dead. It got people talking, about him. He is just a good MC, that his work backs up his controversy.

I think the whip lashes look good.

mp1 v.8.0 said...

Heard that song a while back. I'm digging it.

I hate this word, but him changing the title was an example of pure bitchassedness. That's the first time I wrote that out. Should an "ed" be in there?

The public is to damn soft. So many pieces of art have had the word "nigger" in them. If he's not using it to degrade, I don't see what the problem is. A classic piece of Harlem Renaissance literature was Van Vechten's "Nigger Heaven". This was written by a white man. Hell, one of the beatles had a song titled. Woman is the nigger of the world (I think). White folks can use this as titles of art, but people are up in arms because Nas decided to do the same thing. That's some bullshit.

Dude was trying to make a statement, and he backed out. part of it was for sales, but he had the ability to garner more attention. If he really wanted to capitalize on the full potential of that charged name, without using it as the title, he should've made the announcement a little later that he was going to leave the album untitled. That was a little wordy, but I'm sure you catch my drift.

I just hope the cd doesnt disappoint. It would've been great for him to go out on that limb though.

he should've used this as the cd cover. That would've scared some folks big time.
http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0309/images/life/lynching.jpg

mp1 v.8.0 said...

And he can depict himself as Jesus in a video, but folks have a problem with the image of him being hung from a tree? There's somethig terribly wrong with the former

CAPTAIN said...

Who actually listens to this junk???

YoungBlack&DL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungBlack&DL said...

mp1- If you remember there was a lot of negative response to him representing himself as Jesus. I believe him and Hype Williams had to edit parts of that video, from the original.

The Harlem Renaissance, was a different time, and so was the 60s and 70s when the Beatles had that song. It wasn't as bad for a white person to still use the word nigger. We are in a time of politically correctness, and FCCs, and all kinds of disclaimers, and suing over the littlest things. We are in a state, where at times we are worried about things being obscene, than freedom of speech.

But that's another example of classic NAS, he gets his publicity in different ways, than your average rapper.

Like I said earlier, I still think, that was the record labels doing, not his. Just because you're a successful artist, doesn't mean you have total freedom. He still has executives he has to have things approved by.

Chet said...

I am lost for words, but I gotta comment on this nigger thing, I am not at all offended by the use of the word if it is used in by rappers in songs or when youth use it as slang.

Nas has gone to damn far, but then again there is a real message attached to his music and especially this song.

The image in my head of the album cover you mention is frightening to say the least. be strong and always keep it real.

Sean Stone said...

After listening, it's obvious the original won't get any airplay on the radio, so I'm curious to know what the edited version will be.

Nas is very much "in your face" with his views of the world. So is Mos Def.

I like it. I just wonder how the rest of the cd will be.

Mr. Jones said...

I'm wondering about the CD, too. He's built up some MAJOR expectations with this shit. He better not be talking about "Shorty...back it up and come get this ice". He'd get hanged by the streets. Literally.

Good discussion. Keep it going.

fuzzy said...

I think the controversy is not healthy. Is anything good coming from it? Other than controversy, there is not much advancement coming from it!

yet another black guy said...

I love Nas stylistically and when he talks about his own depressive life, but when he (and other rappers) start acting like their music is more than the 2 or 3 'thought provoking' songs out of 18, then i instantly get annoyed.

If he really wanted to push the envelope why not make an album using every racial epithet EXCEPT for the N-word? Or a cover hanging a white man, surrounded by Blacks? It's the same ol' thing with these guys.

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