Chuck D Weighs In on Suge Knight's N-Word Comments

Public Enemy frontman takes opposing stance to Suge's controversial quote.

Posted: 12/18/2013 08:11 AM EST

The "what do we call you?" debate continued on TMZ today (Dec. 18) with Chuck D reminding everyone what he's been saying since, at least, 1991, when Public Enemy dropped "I Don't Wanna Be Called Yo N---a."

The celebrity news site fanned the flames of the ongoing discussion around the use of the N-word earlier in the week with a video clip from Suge Knight expressing his views on subject. "It depends on how you say 'n---a' and what you doing with it," the Death Row co-founder said (remember, Death Row is the label that produced Tupac's "Ratha Be Your N---a").

"When you really look at it, a lot of people say 'the N-word" he continued. "... I like that better than 'African-American.' We not from Africa, we Black."

TMZ posted the video along with a poll requesting that their readers vote on how to "refer to black people," by clicking either "n---a" or "African American" (as of press time 55 percent went for the former).

On Tuesday (Dec. 17), the site also posted a video with Compton rapper, YG (who has a song called "My N---a" featuring Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan). "I feel like this," he said "…That word, it got a lot of history ... If the people using that word as a word to uplift they friend or say 'that's my homie, that's my friend,' I feel like it's love. Because they ain't using it in a disrespectful way ... But if you use that in a disrespectful way, like if you use that in a disrespectful way to me, I'ma get on your a--. I'ma tell you to watch that N-word, homie."

With those two opinions on the topic spinning in the news cycle, Chuck D spoke to TMZ to isuse a different perspective on the use of the epithet.

"Being called Black in America is the struggle to keep us moving and breathing over bloody water. Being a Nig**r or [Ni**a] without the context of history is like drowning in bloody water, dragging down those yet knowing to swim." 

While he agreed with Knight that the use of African-American is debatable, he called out rappers for being lazy when using the N-word in rhymes, "more than 3 times a song. It's lazy. Especially when out of context."

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  (Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images)

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