She explained what the song was really about, but I think while she's re-appropriating the word for something else, it still makes me feel uneasy. If it were sung by a Black person, I'm not sure I'd feel any better about it.
Er, how does this work? It says "Penny Traition's Loved Tracks"...So I put it on; it says "You've listened to Patti Smith 14 times before, but not 'Rock n Roll Nigger''". So how is it one of my "Loved Tracks"? Just a question; I'm a wee bit over the legal limit so please bear with me...
"nig·ger noun \ˈni-gər\
Definition of NIGGER
3: a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons <it's time for somebody to lead all of America's niggers … all the people who feel left out of the political process — Ron Dellums>"
This might be one of my all-time favorite songs. Offensive to the exact people that it was designed to offend. One of the greatest rebellion songs ever written.
Rap matters not in the long term, musically. And almost any word, or expression, can be offensive depending upon circumstance. Who cares, anyways, all of us will be consigned to the dustbin of history sooner or later.
@PartySanCTG And believing that it doesn't matter how it's used in rap is not at all ignorant. The word can be offensive, but not in this case. Patti is not being racist in this song in any way, it's sad how many people can't understand that. I wasn't trying to write down an argument, just my personal opinion. Patti shouldn't have shit thrown in her face just for saying "the N-word". I understand that if it's moraly wrong to use that word for one person, it doesn't have to be for the other one, it all comes down to one's choice. BUT if that's the case for Patti, it should be the case for everyone. Maybe it doesn't work that way, but imo, it should.
BlackRoseKilla: NOT THIS FUCKING ARGUMENT AGAIN. I'm sick of this argument. It doesn't fucking matter how it's used in rap, and believing this is somehow a valid response to being told white people aren't allowed to use the N-word demonstrates ignorance. It doesn't work like that!
Why do so many keep on about people that have been oppressed in the past------ that is history. Too many people being oppressed and or enslaved throughout the world right now, that is where we should direct our energies. Anyways, whosoever was most powerful , wherever, would oppress others if it suited them. Done by all people of all races..................
All you people keep saying is how wrong it is for a white woman to say the word nigger. And when black artists use it in their songs (especially regarding hip-hop) to acknowledge another black person (or even themselves) it's fine, because, you know, they're really just offending themselves? If you really think it's wrong for a white woman to say the word "nigger". because someone might be offended by it, than you should probably think that it's just as wrong for anyone to say it, regardless of the race or sex.
I have grown up on Patti Smith, I have always loved her music. But this song will NEVER sit well with me. You can apply as much intellectualised privileged bullsh*t to it as you want, it will not change a thing for me. When a white woman (and on top of everything who is also supposed to be a role model) uses this word, she can never understand what it can feel like to have this word used against you.
I'm so glad to see SoapMagic's comments because there is a whole lot of ignorance being sported on here. When someone who is historically from the group of oppressors decides that its ok to use a word that has been used against the oppressed, they have no right to make that decision and no place using that word. By being a white woman using that word all she is doing is saying that its ok for white people to use this word. Its not.
Actually, I used to know some West Indians quite well, and at parties, at least, they sometimes quite cheerfully called each other 'nigger'. Dont forget, the term was also applied , in the 1800s at least, frequently to describe natives of the Indian sub continent. Anyways, 'sticks and stones' etc.
The point of the song is irrelevant. A white woman cannot change the meaning of a word used to oppress black people for hundreds of years. If you think that we live in a post-racial society, then you need to get your privileged head out of your ass. I'm not saying that Patti intended to be racist, but the song is still problematic. "Nigger" is still offensive to many black people, and invalidating their opinions because the song is ~arty~ and ~~**poetic**~~ is highly disrespectful.