NAS UNVEILS ‘NIGGER’ T-SHIRT AT THE GRAMMYS….

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I am sitting here watching ‘Live From The Red Carpet – The Grammy Awards’ on the E! Entertainment channel. So far Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ludacris, Souljah Boy and Rihanna have all walked the red carpet and have engaged in small talk with E! hosts.

Anyway, so I’m sitting here taking in all the fanfare when the camera zooms in on the arrival of Kelis and Nas…..

What I saw made me feel a little uncomfortable. I understand where Nas is going with this move, but I still couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy…

Nas and members of his entourage decided to use this event to promote his forthcoming album by turning up to the Grammys wearing black T-Shirts with the word “Nigger” printed across the shirts in large grey capital letters…..

Now was it appropriate for them to unveil this controversial marketing tool at the prestigious Grammys? 

Nas’ explains his chosen attire for the evening….

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64 replies »

  1. Why would it make you uncomfortable? Have you read or heard anything Nas has said about why that’s the name? Didn’t think so…

  2. just brilliant.. i cant wait to see how this all pans out .. i expect people to run and hide and get offended ..
    and not look at the bigger picture with this one…
    come on nas ..
    i am happy about this new one…
    THATS WHAT YOUR SUPPOSED TO DO BE ARTISTIC…
    ALL ART ISNT ISNT PRETTY .. SOMETIMES ART OFFENDS AND SOMETIMES IT FORCES US TO LOOK AT ISSUES…
    I THINK THIS NAS ALBUM COULD BE THE BOMB BLAST NEEDED TO ADDRESS THIS TOPIC PROPERLY!!

  3. Come on! This is just silly. Can’t they think of a better way to promote the album…and their heritage?

    With that word being so offensive to the black community, why in God’s name would they wear the word across their chest?

    Anyway, as a minority myself (Chicana) I couldn’t and wouldn’t wear a offensive word against my race. But whatever! I guess Nas and Kelis are just attention whores!

  4. Ty, I’m Just playing Darcus Howe (devil’s advocate) here – what if Beenie Seigel or Tony Yayo had a forthcoming album called “Nigger” and turned up at the Grammys with ‘Nigger” tees…

  5. “Casey Says:

    February 11, 2008 at 1:26 am e

    Why would it make you uncomfortable? Have you read or heard anything Nas has said about why that’s the name? Didn’t think so…”

    Yes luv I have read/heard Nas’ explanation, but I haven’t heard any of the tracks yet! So until I hear the tracks etc I will continue to be a little wary!

  6. but the point is …. its nas…..
    one of the only artist to deleiver balance in hip hop music ..
    think about it …….
    he’s always been on point with his social commentary.. whilst others tlaked rubbish ….
    i’m not saying its a great thing thats he’s chosen to exploit this topic pheva!!! BUT who BETTER!!!
    WE MOAN ABOUT RAPERS BEING dunb and illiterate ,and stupid with their fame….
    LOOK AT WHATS HE’S DOING …..
    remember how public enemy came and said a bunch of stuff ..
    its that time again ..

    but we aint used to it anymore….

  7. I like the fact that the image is uncomfortable for anyone who sees it as it should be, I would love to have seen the faces of TV producers when the cameras caught Nas on the red carpet.

  8. Nas in the past has always come correct. I have to say this “he’s got big balls” to do that at the Grammys. As far as I see it I only have a problem with it if he is not trying to bring awareness to the negativety of the word nigger. Theres no doubt that people will be talking about this fo sho. On the surface we have problem with a brotha just going out and having that word nigger printed on a shirt and wearing it. Well why isn’t it a big a deal when rappers use the word in their lyrics. Something to think about fo show. Thks Nas.

  9. Where were all the gangsters? Somebody should have ripped that shirt of NAS and his ugly ass grilfriend. What a bunch of posers.
    It ain’t artistic and he no artist. Just a DUMBASS. His explanation was just stupid.

  10. As usual a lot of blacks will accept double standards. If a white person did that, a lot more blacks would be up in arms even if the person was an “artist”. It would be on every newspaper and you’d have everyone and their grandmother on some radio show or television show saying how offended ther ayre. I am black and I am offended. I grew up on hip-hop and was there when it first came out. I really shouldn’t be offended because I don’t expect much moral responsibility from today’s rappers and their supporters.

  11. HAS ANYONE BOTHERED TO RESEARCH HIS ANSWER!!!!!!
    WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT HE SAID IT TWICE….
    23 YEARS TIME!!!
    23 YEARS TIME!!!!
    WHAT HIDDEN LAW IS HE TRYING TO PUBLICIZE!!!
    COME ON FOLKS….
    IF LITTLE WAYNE WAS DOING THIS I WOULD HAVE A PROBLEM!! BUT ITS NAS…….
    HE HAS ALWAYS DELIVERED THOUGHT PROVOKING MATERIAL…
    AND ASKED RELEVANT QUESTIONS…..
    HES BRINGING THE WORD NIGGA BACK ON HIS OWN TERMS…
    NOT DON IMUS’S TERMS… AS BEFORE!!!

  12. Nas spoke like a true ignorant moron. Public speaking is not his forte. THANK GOD Kelis butted in and dropped some knoledge to add some credibility to Nas’s mumbling bs!!! GO KELIS!!!!

  13. IVE SAID ENOUGH!!!! .. IVE LISTENED TO WHAT FOLKS HAVE GOT TO SAY .. AND I AM SATISFIED .. THAT WE WILL ALL BE CLEARER ON WHAT NAS IS trying to acheive..
    …. soon….

  14. So is it okay now for Whites and Latino’s to buy this shirt to promote Nas? Can a white kid go up to his black friends and say “did you get the N—- album?” Don’t think so. I’m Latino and would never want my race let alone another race ask me that question. It’s making a mockery of that word. If any African-American’s support Nas, they should support all races that begin to say that word casually.

  15. He is a genius. I love it. Being a white 30 something male I couldnt have said it better myself. Hats off to Nas. Thank you for showing us what everyone is thinking.

  16. hmm shock tactic? like hip hop is dead. although that turned out to be a big topic so im on the fence with this title. il wait and see if the album can offer some kind of explanation, if its lame shock tactic or has some better intention behind it.

  17. I love Nas, he is one of my favorite rappers, but after seeing him at the Grammys, I thought he was making an ass of himself. But if you think about it a little more clearly, dont you think Nas knows this? This guy is smarter than you give him credit for. Yes He may be doing it for “shock value”, but im sure there a solid message behind it, and he will do well in his album.

  18. Man, all y’all f**k ass haterz are some bitches for not respecting what Nas is doing.
    He is diminishing the power of this word that has affected us for hundreds of years.
    We have given this word power and we can take that power away.
    I think that everyone needs to look past the word and realize what this man is doing.
    Anyone who knows Nas’ music, knows that Nas is always doing something controrversal (Hip-Hop Is Dead) and that he is gonna sell records regardless.
    I have never went out and bought a record, but I’m gonna make sure I go and buy Nigger.
    I feel like everybody needz to get off his dick and let his nuts hang… Ya Dig?

    Got some shit to say to me den get at me on myspace.com/lithonia_dat_2_fye_nigga

  19. Nas is a genious period, he defanately got all you racist bastards on the offensive. THEY SHOOTING HA MADE HA LOOK YA JUST ANOTHER NAME IN HIS PAGE OF HIS RHYME BOOK.

  20. I think what gets lost in translation here is the differnce between being politically correct and whats real. When Sean Bell gets shot 50 times by the police thats not somthing you can do to a person unless they are a nigger that doesnt happen to everyone just us. So if we own the experience why shouldnt we own the word, thats what Nas is saying.
    G Bush’s dad did business with the nazis yet know one will ever call him one or questions his actions. Yet Barack Obama gets slandered as a radical muslim by his opponents even though he hes been a baptist for 20 years. The botom line is Id rather a person like Rush Limbough call Barrack a n**ger and show his ignorance than say stuff like halfrican American and get a pass.

  21. To el presedente its not about whats said it about what is implied when folks talk about immigration our group is the only racial group they mention when it comes to crime poverty and overcrowding this is to purposely scare ppl into not reconizing the humanity of hispanics.
    Being part dominican myself I see this for what it is This tactic would not have gone over as well as it has if they were calling us Spics and wetbacks because intelligent ppl would not wish to be associated with that
    All iam saying is that the most dangerous racists are the ones that know what not to say, and ill take a clansman in a hood over a closet racist any day.

  22. My girls (ages 8 and 9) were smart enough to say. ” i don’t want to watch that show anymore”. They didnt even want to put it back on to see Beyonce. He ruined the Grammys for a lot of people who just appreciate good music. And seeing that the ratings were so pathetic I think lots of people turned the channel after seeing those IDIOTS.

    Now RAP is really dead and NAS just buried it.

  23. I was watching E! News this morning and they were going through “who wore what? who looked good” on the night. The fashion reporter is a black lady and when they got to Kelis’ outfit both she and the regular host (white lady) were disgusted. They didn’t even want to discuss her outfit…. LOL….

  24. genius!! nas wants to take the power out the word.anytime u over use a word it gets ”played out” to where nobody wants to use it anymore..kind of like slang from the 80’s n 90’s. he did what he was supposed to have done at a time when 90 % of us would have been scared to,he did it in front of the world because its a global issue.i salute him for that potentially career ending move all to get his point across. sometimes u must look deeper into somethin rather than just face value of seeing the n-word..

  25. For those who talk about a double standard when has any rapper made a song containing the word jew or k*** or whop never they dont so no you cant use the word and I can Ilive in bk I see jews call each other the kword that doesnt makeit ok for me to use it. nas stunt was in bad taste but if you consider the fact the grammys have dissed hip hop for 30 years they had it coming

  26. This is the real tragedy here noneoen this post seems to know that the voting rights act of 1973 is set to expire this year and there are many key Republicans trying to do away with it saying it unecessary to protect black voters from voter fraud and intimidation.

    Thats my ni**a nas man represent

  27. Well I don’t know anything about voting rights in the US, seeing as I am a British Citizen. But I did think that Nas was saying something of importance… he just wasnt taking the time to explain himself properly.

  28. thanks moneyboss. i wondered what he was hinting at.

    he’ll cover it in the album, which is why he was so brief. it isn’t out yet. Give him a chance to explain himself!

  29. Derick says – Where were all the gangsters? Somebody should have ripped that shirt of NAS and his ugly ass grilfriend. What a bunch of posers. It ain’t artistic and he no artist. Just a DUMBASS. His explanation was just stupid.”

    Thank you so much Derik !!! I agree totally – what utter rubbish and nonsense. The explaination was weak and he rambled on about f–k all. Yes NAS is talented but i think he dreamt this one up in his mansion when he was bored. Why are people being brainwashed with this bull crap. Nas wants to sell music/make money PERIOD !!! Thats what he does !!! What ? is he trying to save the world now.

    Ty – ARTISTIC ??? Do you really think so ?

    Casey says – “Why would it make you uncomfortable? Have you read or heard anything Nas has said about why that’s the name?”

    Annnnnnnnnnd are his balls that big that we have all to lose our senses and drop our draws just because Nas has spoken. So because Nas has explained his reason for celebrating the word NIGGER it’s right and we should feel proud !! BULLCRAP !!! It’s all about the benjamins mate.

    I am in no doubt the album will be tuff, buttttt If you’re gonna make a statement about NIGGERS etc on such a platform at least get your fu-king story straight. The message is confusng and not very articulate. Not buying the reasoning behind it at all.

  30. AGNES, i am feelin’ your post. at the end of the day, very few really care about the plight of black people…including blacks! when my record deal was getting fukked up by an ARMENIAN (who thinks that blacks are NIGGERS), the whole hip-hop fraternity in LONDON (including TY) distanced themselves from me! there is little consciousness/ knowledge/ spirituality practiced today. it’s all about papers!!! and who has them, and who doesn’t!!! i do not know NAS, or his sentiments. but if we go by his born name NASIR (helper & defender), i’m sure somewhere there is some form of belief in consciousness, and then action, in the ‘nigger’ sentiment! as for TY? actions speak louder than words! if you had a problem with the manner i chose to deal with that ‘situation’, you should have had a word with me! but you need to know, that i am not a NIGGER…, for BLADE, BIG DADA, or any caucazoid!!!

  31. LIFE IS SERIOUS! the whole ‘NIGGER’ notion is SERIOUS! that’s why i could never allow any caucazoid to check ME, for a NIGGER, TY! otherwise, i’ll have to show them, that i can be a FUCKRY NIGGER, innit?!? that’s why BLADE is missing, innit? coz he knows, that i’ll miss him out, innit??? as JAY-Z said, “THINK JAY SOFT?/ THEN RIP JAY OFF!”.

    but going back to the NAS issue; what he’s saying is that THE ORIGINAL MAN has been exploited for too long. so, even if NAS is using the ‘nigger’ concept for financial gain, then so what? as DR. DRE on the ‘EFIL4ZAGGIN’ album, “THEY CALL US NIGGERS, ANYWAY!”.

  32. Insanemacbeth says – but going back to the NAS issue; what he’s saying is that THE ORIGINAL MAN has been exploited for too long. so, even if NAS is using the ‘nigger’ concept for financial gain, then so what?

    Yes back to the Nas issue – i disagree that it DOESN’T MATTER that Nas is using the word Nigger/concept for financial gain… it really DOES matter, BECAUSE WE HAVE COME TOO FAR FOR THIS FUCKRIES !!!. Has Nas’s talent dried up so much that he has to take these thoughtless measures. To me he has put us back as a people and made us look daft.

    A lot of unitelligent people already celebrate/use the word Nigger too freely, we don’t need Nas giving more idiots an excuse to promote the word further – especially young cats with a growing mind, who will not give a f–k about Nas’s message.

    Kids especially are not intelligent enoughto hear Nas’s silly message and he has erupted an argument that no matter how much i think he is a bonafide artist, he is not articulate enough to explain the reasoning behind the album title – purely because it is bull shit.

    We don’t need Nas and his air head wife fashionistaring the word Nigger. I don’t look at Nas’s fight/argument like I did at Public Enemy – Fight the Power etc… Times have changed and who is Nas really fighting/speaking for ???

    Kelis in sexy tight fitting gold lurex pants and a glittery jack with NIGGERS emblazoned on it, really doesn’t say f–k all to me other than they are both being dumb. To me Naz looked uncomfortable and uneasy whislt there was wifey posing off in the jacket. I can’t wait for the album !!! and that is all Nas wants us to say – run out and buy it etc !!! and when we do buy the album and we hear the so called message, what next !!! They really didn’t think this one through properly.

    Janice says – As Tim ‘Big Dog’ Westwood would say…“ITS GOING DOWN”
    lol…, Insanemacbeth leave my ‘mspace’ hubby alone….. lol !!!

  33. IAmTooFye says – He is diminishing the power of this word that has affected us for hundreds of years. – what a load of nonsense speak !!!. THAT WORD WILL STAY STRONG FROM THAT DAY …UNTIL NOW !!! oh dear !!!

    Nas is not the ‘most high’, y’all – although he did attach himself to a cross once, all in the name of ART… so perhaps he thinks he is.

  34. AGNES, i’m really not down with the back-and-forth cyber war shit. so i will post this one reply, like i did with TY;

    firstly, ALLAAH is AL-ALIY (the MOST HIGH). you should AL-QUR’AAN KAREEM…THE GLORIOUS QUR’AN. it reveals a lot, you know?!? secondly, in regards to the NAS sentiment…only ALLAAH, and NAS know his intentions, and whats in his heart. and even if he is using it for a publicity stunt? well i don’t care! because, i have personally experienced in the UK rap scene/ industry (if you want to call it, an industry), that when shit really goes down, your own (ie. black people) don’t want nothing to do with you. when a white male fukked up a potential deal of mine, and i dealt with the guy accordingly…after comprehensively establishing that this person HAD messed up the deal, and word spread throughout the UK rap fraternity, black people REALLY didn’t want to know me. luckily, i was able to pull some maneouvres in th U.S. (where the AFRICAN-AMERICAN rap fraternity seem to be a lot more closely knit!). so i would suggest that all of these black UK rap guys were being NIGGERS, to the people who run the industry where i am, in LONDON! even RICOCHET KLASHNEKOFF, who is meant to be a ‘conscious’ artist, didn’t want anything to do with me, when i suggested a collabo (i even offered £1000, when no UK rap artist is worth that!!!).

    so let’s bring this NIGGER thing in perspective! i would suggest that a lot of black people are still acting like NIGGERS…because they still don’t realise who/ what they are. what did THE GOD EMCEE RAKIM say about THE BLACK MAN’S status in ‘FOLLOW THE LEADER’? “GODS BY NATURE/ MINDS RAISED IN ASIA”. and “WE WERE PUT HERE TO BE MUCH MORE THAN THAT/ BUT WE COULDN’T SEE/ BECAUSE OUR MINDS WERE TRAPPED!”. so if you’re not on that train of thought, then you don’t know your true nature, as a black male on this EARTH…hence, you’re still a NIGGER, innit.

    what’s interesting is that even JAY-Z, who is an entrepreneur/ money getter, recently said on ‘AMERICAN GANGSTER’, “A PLACE TO STUDY MATH AT/ MATTER OF FACT, I LEARNT IT ALL!”. now, for those that don’t know NEW YORK slang, ‘math’ means knowledge of self…which suggests that even S-DOT is conscious of his true self, and uses the AMERICAN $ to help others. once you know your true nature and potential, then you can get dough…because in this ‘matrix’, ie. the 21 century, money is needed, to fulfill your dreams, and realise your true potential!

    as for NAS’ album, i’m going to buy it. at least NAS understands the contradiction of being conscious, versus trying to get dough living in THE WEST. the whole NIGGER thing only exists in the WEST; when i go to JAMAICA, i am not perceived as a ‘nigger’. i’m sure that if/ when TY goes to NIGERIA, the people are not thinking, “look at that ‘nigger’!”. that train of thought only exists in the UK…or AMERICA, or GERMANY…hence, where WHITE MEN exist (i don’t know how white women perceive black people; i am not really in contact with them!).

  35. Insanemacbeth – cyber war shit – lol !!! Not for me it isn’t, i’m just having fun I don’t use myspace to air my personal greivances with other people .

    Thank you very much for the enlightnment on the almighty one !!!.

    The blog is about Nas and the forthcoming album, but you seem to have gone off on a tangent about your own personal journey. Through all the diatribe i got confused. Back to what the blog IS ABOUT !!!, Nas – I’ll be buying the album too – Enjoy your copy – Peace Senga

  36. the convo was/ is about the use of the word ‘nigger’…how people percieve the word; how people perceive darker skinned people, as a nation. so i can bring my personal experiences in the convo, as NAS’ album title has a direct effect on me…and HOW i am perceived. i’ll be buying 3 copies. so AGNES, enjoy yours, too!

    PEACE & BLESSINGS.

  37. uncomfortable?? about seeing the word nigger on a T-shirt? what makes me uncomfortable is how emmitt till, medger evers, or those 4 little girls in that church was killed… talk about uncomfortable… listen to Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” while watching a slide show of lynchings. Then watch the movie Birth of a Nation then tell me u feel uncomfortable

  38. I’ve seen/read/heard/watched everything you’ve listed above luv. You trying to drop knowledge on me? But that does not change how I felt about seeing the word NIGGER on Nas’ T-Shirt at The Grammys.

    So I’ll say it again – “I FELT UNCOMFORTABLE”

  39. did you watch that film sahara,have you forgottn what that black guy said?”nobody cares about africa”like wise african americans too..so dumbheads is time to make a point thumbs up to nas

  40. It takes a bigger person to do what Nas did. I respect him because I feel the n word has got out of control no one even knows what it means anymore. I feel with my generation (I’m 16) alot of them just say the word because everyone else says it. No one thinks anything through anymore they just do it because they’re being influence by everyone else. It takes courage and strenght to let people know about the n word and it’s roots because no one wants to hear it. Everyne thinks it’s the norm so I agree with Nas hopefully this world will overdose on N**ger cause I refuse to say. I’m tired of everyone feeling like it’s ok to say. Oh for anyone who’s interested go to youtube.com and look up Julian Curry from Def Poetry Jam, it’s called N*gger, N*igga, N*ggas. (All the same no matter how much you change the spelling. Follow my movement to uplift my generation.
    -I’m Out (Dueces)

  41. “BE A NIGGER TOO!” really sums up what’s going on in 2008. a lot (not all of them) of white people like what we (black people) do, dress, create, act, etc…but don’t want to go through thr economic stresses we face on a daily.

  42. I love the whole concept mind elavation weve ben called NIGGER all our lives and now we have the power to take the power from the word and use it for our advantage

  43. HIP HOP VETERAN. NOT AFRAID TO TOUCH THESE ISSUES. IM NOT GONNA ARGUE WITH FOOLS AS THE SAYING GOES. THE BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO HIP HOP IS NAS

  44. What would Martin Luter King Jr. have to say about this… just think about that.
    as far as what I think, i think it’s f**king retarded, it should say ignorant!!

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