Kreayshawn and V-Nasty’s Controversy; Should White Rappers Use the N-Word?

Kreayshawn and V-Nasty are Oakland, Calif.-based rappers who represent a group called the White Girl Mob. Kreayshawn recently signed a record deal with Columbia Records and has a hit single titled “Gucci Gucci.” But unlike other popular white rappers who refrain from using the N-word, Kreayshawn and V-Nasty use the word loosely in their raps and on viral videos that showcase their life behind the scenes.

Keayshawn defended her use of the N-word by claiming that it’s become slang for those in low- income environments. “In Oakland, Asian people will call Mexicans the [N-word].” Kreayshawn said. “A Mexican will call a black dude that. A white person will call an Asian that. Everyone calls each other that. I feel like that word is used in the low-income community more than anything. I can see if I was some rich crazy trick and I was just saying this  because it’s hip-hop. I was raised around this. But personally, I’m not flaunting it around.”

Bay Area rapper Mistah Fab defended the White Girl Mob’s use of the N-word. “This is 2011 and it’s not the same. You’ll let someone in your own race disrespect you all day, but when someone from outside of the race says it, you want to turn into Malcolm X, or Martin Luther King,” he said.

But while Mistah Fab stands behind the White Girl Mob, other rappers are less forgiving. David Banner warns white people to never use the N-word around him. “No white person should ever call me a n***a,” Banner says. “I don’t care who you are. My best friend could be white, but he should never feel comfortable enough to call me a n***a. Now that I’m getting older, I feel a certain way about black people calling me n***a. A lot of rappers don’t want to talk about this. but now that I’ve got a chance to travel and go overseas, I don’t feel comfortable with black people calling me n***a.”

As a life long fan of hip-hop, it’s easy to understand how the use of the N-word became common for rappers. Similar to how griots would tell stories in West Africa hundreds of years ago, the music began as way for rappers to communicate their experiences to others in their community.

However, the commodification of hip-hop allowed the voices of rappers to inspire other cultures and, in turn, create profit and intrigue. Rappers have used the N-word liberally since the early ’90s and the beginning success of West Coast hip-hop. Although many rappers claim that using the N-word in music takes away from the pain associated with the word, it remains highly offensive. When taking out the entertainment value of some hip-hop, the content endorses negative thoughts and imagery of blacks that has become mainstream due to pop culture.

Imagine being the only black person in a room filled with white people and individuals of other races while Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane’s “Steady Mobbin” is being blasted from the speakers. The N-word being thrown around carelessly by Lil Wayne who raps, “F**k these N***as, I’m gon spare everything but these N***as, I flip the gun and gun butt these N***as, Take the knife off the AK and gut these N***as.”

Of course, it’s just a song. But when you are the only black person in a roomful of white people who are jovially chanting those words, it can be a bit uncomfortable and sad. In fact, it wouldn’t be uncommon for a racist to use words similar to Lil Wayne’s in order to incite violence against blacks.

Kreayshawn and V-Nasty are both uneducated young women who may not understand how the N-word was historically used by whites who degraded, lynched and set up laws to destroy black lives. On the other hand, their use of the N-word is a way for them to vividly show black rappers the negative impact of using a derogatory term while on the powerful platform of hip-hop.

Should white rappers not be allowed to use the N-word, or is the meaning no longer relevant? –amir shaw

Video of V-Nasty rapping and using the N-word.

Amir Shaw is the sports and music director for rolling out magazine. He is also the author of the young adult novel, 23.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

  1. Lets stop being hypocritical and dramatic about the situation. Its 2011… If we are STILL so offended by the use of the N word we should stop using it all around, and lead by example. We can not continue to protest the use of the word by other races if we are going to freely use it as everyday vocabulary. I don’t see the big deal, as V-Nasty and Kreayshawn explained.. The N-Word is used all over Oakland by many different races. The word is no longer relevant, and Its no longer used as a degrading term specifically for blacks. 

  2. Sad how black rappers like mista fab defend these white girls using the N-word. We’re the only culture that allow ourselves to be disrespected by another race and take up for them. You can’t work in hollywood around jews and think its ok to use kyke or jewboy. 

  3. No. They shouldn’t.  Should Kreashawn decide that rapping doesn’t work for them, their appearance alone will help them transition into the ranks of corporate America. 

    THere are many black people, who resort to the lifestyles they are living because discrimination is REAL. Niggers are asked to straighten their hair, cut their dreads and quell their country accents to assimilate into white America.  White people in positions of power are not checking for black employees unless they have twice the education and experience as their white counterparts. TO put it blunt: Kreashawn has the complexion for the protection. (Don’t believe me, ask Casey Anthony)  A smooth ponytail, a suit and a reference from an auntie is all it takes to get Kreashawn out the hood. To them, being black is fashionable. As Paul Mooney so eloquently put it: Everybody wanna be a nigga, but nobody wanna be a nigga.

    Along with being Black comes a stigma, a unique struggle and along with the word Nigga (however you say it) comes images of black ppl hanging from trees, being dragged behind trucks, crosses burned in yards and humans sold like cattle on auction blocks.

    She does NOT have the understanding to use the word. If she did, she wouldn’t WANT to use it. The question is: Why does she?

  4. I don’t think they should use.I don’t use it in front of whites.I also don’t like to be referred to in the company of whites.If Mister fab validates their use of it it’s mostly from a politically correct slant and that’s his right to not mind someone calling him one but he should stay away from endorsing anyone to freely use it.Now,anyone can use the term they just have to be prepared to deal with the consequences of  that use..

  5. Eminem made a career without ever, to my knowledge, utilizing the N-Word on his mainstream songs and he is seen as one of the best rappers ever.  It is not necessary to use the n-word although I have to note that sometimes it fits in synoptically with the beat.  EVEN STILL…I challenge (black) rappers to find another word..something else to say.  There’s GAZILLIONS (yes gazillions lol) of words in the world and to only use this one derogatory word doesn’t say much for people’s creative minds.  Stop BS’in..Get Creative.

    1. That’s not 100 percent true, there is a song on the album Marshal Mathers LP which have the word edited out called criminal. Kid Rock also used the word in the song Black Chick White guy. Personally I think the words invalid. Everyone is saying it casually now. Every time I am on fucking youtube some white or asian kid is saying it. Personally I think if 2pac could run around on stage saying fuck all you white people then why shouldn’t she be able to say the n word in a far less offensive manner?

  6. what white people have a tendacy to forget,is that hip hop is a culture.and the N-word was use alot because they was referring to the people that looked,dressed and act like them.listening to the same music as well.when public enemy was hot,during a interview  professor griff said the jews own everything.why you think the word jew is in jewelry.public enemy took some heavy hit for that.pulling records off the shelves as well as cancel shows from p.e. had to make a choice and let griff go from the group because the jews we’re blacks may accept a white or two saying the N-word but in a diffrent hood the rules change.i’m quite sure blacks say white boy,jews boy or whatever other name they say.but they wouldnt say it in the wrong hood believe that 

  7. HERE we have an unaddressed racial double standard that justifies anti-white bigotry by, for
    example, allowing such racial slurs as white boy/girl, cracker, white trash, and the
    dreaded H-bomb (i.e. honky), as it’s called in popular vernacular, to be freely
    used in everyday speech without consequence, which has always deeply offended self-respecting Caucasians such as myself.  Yet it would hypocritically attempt to censor the use of the so-called N-word (i.e. nigger) as an expletive in
    the Media and even in general, giving, oddly enough, exclusively right of its use to those said to be victimized by it.  If the proposed restriction is to be placed on the use of the N-word, then it should be equally required, especially
    when spoken by blacks, that the H-bomb be banned from ever being dropped, and even more so when in public.  To do otherwise is blantantly discriminatory, racist, anti-white, and even negrophilic. 

Leave a Reply