It's been eight months since Nas announced the title of his ninth studio album, 'N-----,' which has since been changed to 'Untitled,' and through the controversy, the rapper has remained steadfast. No stranger to the use of the pejorative term, the Queensbridge emcee emphatically defended his artistic vision while simultaneously creating a buzz that wouldn't be supported by an album cut until late May/early June. But the real question remains: Of all the hot topics to take on, why n-----?
"I could write a book about it really ... that's how much it means to me. But the whole reason is that life is good for me, but there's still a lot of bulls--- in the world. There's still a lot of s--- going on and this effects me," Nas told the BoomBox. "My outlet is the music, so there are times when I wanna take a chance by just talking about my opinion."
Nas' opinion has been greatly criticized by African-American leaders. Jesse Jackson weighed in on the album title in a statement to Fox News. "The title using the N-word is morally offensive and socially distasteful," Jackson said. "Nas has the right to degrade and denigrate in the name of free speech, but there is no honor it." Well, hate it or love it, this is what hip-hop is all about. What's a better way to sound off on all the things that piss you off in the world then to put them to a beat?
"This is my take on [the n-word]," Nas explains. And the album is a retort to "people who blame rappers like we invented the word ... like we've pushed our race back down by using this language ... all the people who are really misunderstanding the youth and the youth's music and s---and culture, and who blame us ... like we're the beast."
"This is a middle finger back at them," Nas explains with a certain coolness that lets you know that this controversy might not be a gimmick, as some have suggested. Actually, the emcee thinks he's doing us all a favor.