The future of the n word.

I have never been comfortable in any situation with the “n word”.

Here we go.

The rap music industry is huge, and EXPLODING across white communities everywhere.

If you’ve ever listened to rap you know it’s chock full of the n word.
White kids that were brought up to avoid the n word may be hearing it hundreds of times per day while listening to the music they enjoy, singing along etc. As you sing along with music the lyrics sink into your head.

My question revolves around a sort of normalizing of an offensive word
In the movie Office Space a white guy is blasting rap music at a stoplight and some black guys wind up beside his car. He has to turn the music down because the lyrics seem racist when coming from his window.

What will the effect of this “normalizing” likely be?

Can we expect a time when white kids will be playing rap music and singing along to the lyrics blah, blah, n***** blah, blah, n*****, and black bystanders will not be offended?

Will the rap industry knowing the sales demographics attempt to tone down certain racial elements of the music?

Could it be that the definition of the n word will evolve into something less racially charged?

Side question:

You’re black and a white kid pulls up next to you at a light playing rap music and you hear some n bombs blasting from his speakers. You glance up and see his lips moving to the lyrics. What do you think about that?

Back in Texas the word survives and even thrives as a combining form:


I’ve have to stop myself from using the last example myself – it just rolls off the tongue. The etymology really has little to do in my mind with their current, well defined and non-race specific definitions.

I’ve also heard the word used to refer to an African-American who doesn’t seem to have his act in any way together. It is roughly equivalent to black “white trash” – but not quite. It is the guy who just got out of prison, and goes right back to slinging crack on a busy corner, for example. And you know he’s going right back to jail any minute – and you have to wonder what is going on in his head.

Is it applied to whites in this context? Rarely. Do I know people who use the word in this sense who aren’t racist? Yes. In fact, some people use the word exactly because they aren’t racist – to distinguish the behavior of a certain disreputable minority of people from the rest of those in the larger minority.