I had a problem with Cee-Lo’s “F– You”. Basically, it boiled down to these two lines:
Oh shit, she’s just a gold-digga
Well, just thought you should know, nigga
Now, this is hardly the first time in recent memory that the N-word has been dropped in songs. I mean, there’s a preponderance of hip hop that uses the word liberally. I think it’s hearing it used in a non-hip hop, pop music context that I find most dangerous. Nearly 20 million views later, you have to wonder at the extent to which he’s normalizing the use of that word amongst people who are not black. It’s like he’s giving people license to say it. After all, despite being a song of heartbreak, he’s packaged it all as a very hummable little ditty.
Let me be clear: I don’t think black folks should be using the word, and I definitely don’t want whites feeling at all comfortable using it. Ever.
I understand that that there is a history of black folks using it within the community, especially as a term of endearment. But when you have a global platform as does Cee-Lo, Kanye, Jay-Z and a whole host of rappers and R&B singers, you’re not just talking to people on your block. You’re not even just talking to people in your community. Why’s that so hard to understand?
Maybe folks will get it once some hipster in Williamsburg is spotted with a t-shirt that says:
Just thought you should know, n–a
If not, maybe it’s time to get the Drop Squad back together.
In the meantime, check out brotha’s new video. Haven’t heard the album yet, but will share my thoughts once it arrives and I’ve had a chance to listen.