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Janelle Monáe Fans Aren’t Feeling Her Stance on the N-Word

If you’re a white fan of hip-hop and are eager to blurt out the n-word along to your favorite song, Janelle Monáe isn’t in your corner.

The “Django Jane” singer believes that some words can be reclaimed by those who were once oppressed by them and that means the oppressor can’t utter them — even at a concert.

“It’s kind of like the oppressor calling the oppressed a word,” she says on “The Breakfast Club” Wednesday, April 25. “Black people, we took n—- and said, ‘We’re going to redefine what that means. We’re going to take the power out of it. We’ll use it in the way we want to use it.’ We own that now.”

Monáe, who added that she feels the same way about the word, “b—-,” noted that she doesn’t feel musicians using the n-word in their music also gives white fans the license to use it.

“I feel like we can use it,” she says. “I feel like … their ancestors used it for centuries, it’s ours now. That’s the least you can do is let us have that word back. I don’t feel like those who are more privileged can use words that were used to oppress those that are still oppressed in this world.”

She noted that she “absolutely” thinks white concert-goers should censor themselves when the n-word drops in a song.

“That’s the price you pay,” she continued. “And I love white people. I love being able to have concerts and have them there, but there are just some things — like I don’t go to China or other places around the world and do certain things in their culture. … There are lines to things.”

In response to Monáe’, listeners have tweeted decidedly different viewpoints.

“I don’t identify with the n-word and I hate that some Black people take ownership of it,” one listener said. “[The] n-word is defined as [an] ignorant person. I know a lot of mayo n-words!”

‘You might as well slap your great grandmothers and hang your great grandfathers using the n-word!” another said. “Be educated and use a better term! I used it a lot back in the day but now have become a better person!”

“I’d have to listen to the @JanelleMonae breakfast club interview again, but I don’t think we can regard the B word with the same class of offense as the N word,” someone else tweeted. “I completely understand that someone can view it as disrespectful but it’s not the same regard.”

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