Shawn Maxam talks through his dilemma about word choices and entertainment.
I shot the same game, shot niggas in planes and stole niggas wizzes
Yo, that’s my ninjas, catching bodies a hobby
-Raekwon (Real ain’t Real)
Some Black people say ninjas instead of niggas. I have been having this internal debate on whether I should say ninjas myself. Admittedly it sounds silly when I hear other people say it. I rarely use the word nigga in my daily life. I think I was considering the word ninja as a possible replacement for when I am listening to rap music or Black comedy.
Interestingly I don’t ever use the word bitch in my personal life or even when rapping or singing along to a song. I often don’t retell vulgar jokes from comediennes. I just don’t run into the issue of using pejoratives or troubling language if I am attempting to share of art. It’s pretty damn weird.
There seems to be two realities occurring in my head. Real life and entertainment life. When listening to or watching any form of entertainment I am usually fine with the use of bad language e.g. nigga, bitch, whore or fag when it is being used by the artist. But in real life conversations I often feel uneasy when these words are used even if the person using them is black, female, gay and so on. Which is to say I often hear marginalized groups use pejoratives with each other as a method of subversion and empowerment. I am guilty of this as well.
I don’t really care about the philosophical contradictions in this approach. I am moreso analyzing how I feel when it’s happening. Interestingly I am still on the fence about whether or not to use nigga or ninja. We’ll see what happens.
Please share this with friends, enemies and temporary allies alike.
Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting!
Flickr image by by doctorserone