Trevor Noah Doesn’t Think People Get A Pass To Say N-Word Just Because It’s In A Rap Song


The discussion about the n-word continues, and this time The Daily Show host Trevor Noah drops off his two cents. The comedian stopped by The Breakfast Club this week and chatted with Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God about the rules of saying the n-word as it pertains to rap lyrics. There are people who argue that as long as the word is in a song, it’s free territory for anyone to sing along. However, some don’t think that the rules are that clear, as we recently saw with actress Gina Rodriguez when she caught a wave of backlash for dropping the n-bomb while singing Lauryn Hill’s verse on a Fugees track.

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“Look, I get it. I get the confusion,” Trevor said. “In America, I understand there’s a fundamental confusion that happens in and around hip hop and some people don’t understand the sensitivities that they need to have in and around words that they’re using—it’s not like you can’t use the word. You can use it, but don’t be shocked when something happens to you.”

He went on to say that people need to have a better understanding of the sensitive nature of the n-word and how black people are affected by it. Some people need to say to themselves, “‘I grew up with hip hop. I may have identified with black culture. But I also understand fundamentally as a person…I also understand that I’m not black or I have not lived the black experience. I may have lived as apart of it.’ There’s something that comes with that whereas black people we go…the one perk to the oppression is getting the n-word. In a weird way.”

According to Noah, it’s not difficult for people to censor themselves. He used the example of how children, and even adults, are careful with their word choices in front of their parents. “Everyone knows how to censor themselves, especially when it comes to hip hop. So, I don’t get why people make it like it’s [difficult],” he said, mocking people who use the excuse that they’re just rapping along to their favorite song. Noah’s solution is that rappers should release versions of their songs with substitute words that everyone can sing to and then the controversy will be over. Watch the discussion below beginning around the 4:50 mark.


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