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Kanye West’s Latest Twitter Rant: Ruminates on Using ‘B—-’ and ‘N—-’ in Lyrics

Kanye West
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Kanye West doesn’t tweet that often, but when he does, he does two things: One, he gets pretty prolific, and two, he goes on for quite a while on the same thread. (Perhaps an actual blog would be better suited for him.) His latest ruminations? Whether using the words “b—-” (rhymes with “twitch”) and “n—-” (rhymes with “Jigga“) in lyrics is appropriate.

“I usually never tweet questions but I struggle with this so here goes… Is the word B—- acceptable,” he asked followers on Sunday. He continued, “To be more specific, is it acceptable for a man to call a woman a b—- even if it’s endearing?” He’s likely a little nervous about the fact that his song ‘Perfect B—-’ is about his boo, Kim Kardashian (who has come out supporting him and saying she doesn’t mind).

Yeezy then took the discussion further from a gender to a racial discussion, asking, “Has hip hop conditioned us to accept this word? Do we love this word as much as we love the word N—- in an endearing way?” He added, “correction, Here’s the age old question, would we refer to our mothers as b—-es? Would’ we call our fathers n—–s or better yet N—-s?”

West admitted that part of why he was opening the discussion was because he received criticism for his own lyrics. While it may sound like a self-absorbed and somewhat childish reason to talk it out, in this case, he showed maturity. “I was recently questioned about the use of the word B—- in my music and initially was offended by anyone questioning anything in my music,” he said, adding, ”Stevie Wonder never had to use the word b—- to get his point across.” West showed the rare moment of humility when he revealed, “I will admit that I sometimes go back an omit cursing from my records. I like to use profanity as a tool and not a crutch.”

West ended his rant by sending a link to Lupe Fiasco‘s  thought provoking video for ‘B—- Bad.’ Though he didn’t seem to get any concrete answers, perhaps the most clarity came from his own message: “Perhaps the words B—-and N—- are now neither positive or negative. They are just potent and it depends on how the are used and by whom.”

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