Pharoahe Monch Addresses Usage Of The "N" Word In Music

Pharoahe opens up about the taboo word and its usage in music.

During an interview with BoldAsLove where he discussed his new album W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), Pharoahe Monch also shared a few thoughts on the usage of the “N” word in Hip Hop.

“If you’re using a word and can’t define its origin, where it came from, why it started, or elaborate on it before you choose to say, ‘I’m using it in this manner,’ then I feel like it’s an ignorance issue,” he explained. “It passes on to generations of kids, who are - even if they’re saying it endearingly - I feel like they’re using it in an ignorant sense. But if you know all these things, then I feel you have the right to use it endearingly and anthemically in songs - or even disrespectfully.”

Monch detailed a specific scenario on an airplane a few years ago, where he felt that members of his crew were using the word in an inappropriate situation. “I would get infuriated,” he said. “You’ve gotta represent me in this scenario, like I want to be represented. And we’re just not gonna say that on a plane.”

The Queens, New York native emphasized that the topic is one that should be discussed. “I think it’s one of the most amazing conversations of modern times, I think that the word is very layered and not black and white, no pun intended. It’s not a casual dismissive conversation and I think everyone’s input on it is necessary.”

Listen to the full interview below.

RELATED: Pharoahe Monch Plans "Assassins” Film, Praises Blu & Royce Da 5'9

26 Comments

  • Doubl Negative

    Chink, Kike, faggot, spastic and slut are not offensive epithets to me, as I'm not Asian, Jewish, gay, physically disable or female. I am Black though, so I place a greater importance on the word Nigga/er. The white people on this site who fail to see why some Brothers take umbrage with this contentious word are hypocrites; "It's only a word" is a common cavalier response to this topic, but a Middle Eastern Muslim makin' disparaging slurs about white Americans would anger the same un-PC whites who are forever makin' bigoted remarks about anyone who's not the same ilk as them. We all view the world through our subjective, insular prisms, and can only appreciate something is racist if we're the recipient of that racism. In a homogeneous, generic world, where every body's the same regardless of your social strata, white people freely sayin' Nigga in front of Blacks wouldn't be a problem, but we're a long way away from Dr King's quixotic Utopia, no matter who's in the Oval Office. We just have to accept we live in a disparate society, that hasn't changed much from the Jim Crow years and people from different social melius/races have different proclivities. If that means usage of the "N"-Word is the preserve of Black people, so be it.

  • Whiteman

    I was helping 2 black guys to fix their car and after i fixed the car i Became their nigga LMFAO!

  • Anonymous

    Eminem stans shouldnt use it i laughed the shit outtamy self when i saw this jewish nigger drake using it he said in interview"yee lil kim is a real G" and "Lil wayne is my nicca"

  • Steez Diamante

    I think that not only a lot of rappers, but a lot of people in general could benefit from the example that Monch sets both as an artist and as a person. From day one, he has always carried himself as a stand-up man and a torch bearer of the culture. I really appreciate how he thinks critically and carefully before he speaks - he puts a strong emphasis on the power of words, as is cited in this interview. If for one moment anyone thinks that words have limitations, they are mistaken.

  • Anonymous

    Little whiny bitches.

  • beezlebud

    ITS ONLY A WORD...AND CONTEXT IS ALL THAT SHOULD MATTER if someones calling you nigga in an endearing fashion then there should be no problem and no offence should ever be taken to its usage, if they call it you in a derogatory manner its still only a word and honestly being offended by any word seems silly to me but that is the only time someone should take offence to it's usage ITS ALL ABOUT CONTEXT...

  • Anonymous

    Much props to Pharoache for bringing about intelligence in a recently emerging trend of over usage of the word (without understanding).

  • Cade Newell

    "If you don't know your past, you can't know the future" - Chuck D ...And you can't understand the present...

  • Jess Devitt

    who gives a fuck what pharoahe monch has to say about this shit?

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  • Anonymous

    Niggggggaaaaaaaaa....

  • khordkutta

    "Abolish the N word, the plan so corny, while homeland security cams is all on me." Monch- "Clap"

  • white guy

    my dream is to call a black guy Nigga not ER but nigga oh if martin luther was alive he would grant me that wish.god bless

  • Slruim

    I respect Monch and his music, but I think he's making a big deal out of nothing with the word. It's just a word, yes there is important history behind the word but we can't live our life thinking too much into the past. I will continue to use the word with my friends because our group defines it as a term of endearment.

  • nixnox

    Co-Sign - Mr.Monch speaks the truth.

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