Chuck D does not think it is ever appropriate—even in hip hop—to use the n-word. And he singled out Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne track "N-ggas in Paris" as a particularly egregious example of the problem.
The outspoken rapper was deeply bothered when, during his April 28th set at the L’Original festival in Lyon, France, a white fan in the crowd used the word. He later tweeted his thoughts concerning the incident:
"Standing ovation in Lyon France telling these folks we are African NOT Ngrs In Paris why I gotta travel PlanetEarth cleaning sht from USA?"
He then wrote: "Blackfolk are hangin on a cliff in the USA. Calling us NGR & making youth think its normal & diggin it is like pushing us off it. It pay$ well."
This is not the first time Chuck D has called out H.O.V.A. and 'Ye for a perceived lack of morals. Last year the outspoken rapper had this to say:
"Watch the Throne, is that or is it not some kind of king sh-t? It’s like it’s some Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Louis XVI type sh-t. Man, f--k a king—unless it’s Martin Luther."
But as far as the fan that triggered the upset, the Public Enemy rapper lays the blame squarely elsewhere.
"He didn’t know. It’s a language cultural thing where they’ve seen black men call themselves that like happy ass slaves for 20yrs," he wrote.
When a fan responded to the tweets, defending Jay-Z and Kanye West, Chuck answered with this:
"Yes JayZ is a very very sharp smart dude and gifted. But with great power comes responsibility, it is necessary to lead forward."
"When you have mainstream RAP songs basking in it out of context, Sometimes you gotta call time out and demand some respect."