If you run up on Suge Knight, you better know what to call him.
In a recent interview with TMZ, the former Death Row Records co-founder/CEO said it's good with him if you call him a "n---a" under certain circumstances.
"Do you ever give anybody the pass to say the N-word?" an unidentified interviewer asked. "You know," Knight answered, "it depends on how you say 'n---a' and what you doing with it. When you really look at it, a lot of people say 'the N-word' and a lot of people use it as a situation they're scared to say something about it. A lot of times people say 'the N-word,' right? I like that better than 'African-American,' we not from Africa, we Black."
Diaspora differences matter he said, because, "Even Africans don't call each other 'African.' If they from Kenya, they say, 'I'm Kenyan.'"
Knight, now the founder and CEO of Black Kapital Records, then went back and revisited the idea of who really should be using the word. According to Knight, if a certain white rapper can be forgiven for using the word, people outside of hip hop can be forgiven as well.
"But at the same time," he said, "if you take football athletes, if you take athletes, people make a big deal about [inaudible] using 'n----r,' but at the same time if you're a rapper you can use it. Eminem is a white boy, he did a song saying 'all black women is n----r b-----s and they gold diggers.' So if you can do a song like that, and you got guys scared to say something about it, don't say something now ... if you're going to be one way, be one way with everybody or be one way with nobody."
It's all about paying dues to the experience, he concluded. "If somebody use the word 'n---a' and they hang around n----s and they use the word 'n---a' that's one thing, but I still don't feel certain people can say it to me."
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(Photo: Vivien Killilea/WireImage)