The controversy over the use of the N-word has hit the headlines again after a white woman was booed at a Kendrick Lamar gig for singing it on stage
The rapper invited the woman to sing M.A.A.D City during his set at the Hangout Festival in Alabama.
But Lamar stopped her after she repeatedly used the N-word – which is heard multiple times in his song.
As the crowd reacted angrily, Kendrick told the fan: “You gotta bleep one single word.”
The N-word is a derogatory term; a racial slur which was used to refer to and insult black slaves, but today it is used prominently in hip-hop.
The reaction to the Kendrick footage on social media was mixed – with some defending the woman and others saying Lamar did the right thing by cutting her off.
South London grime artist Yizzy, who recently released his EP SOS, points out that Lamar had already had a couple of fans up on the stage who sang along with him without using the N-word.
“The word shouldn’t have been used at all [by the female fan] – it would have been very easy for her not to use it,” he reportedly said.
“It’s a choice when you use that word, whatever race [you are]. Kendrick dealt with it in a very good way. She could have avoided the whole situation herself and she put herself in that position.”
He explains that he uses the word sparingly himself to add impact when necessary.
“I use it in several different ways, as a way to refer to another person of that ethnicity or to explain the word as a metaphor, for example.
“I use it when I feel I need to. I try to avoid swearing in my songs… but my lyrics flow naturally, when that word fits and makes a lot of sense, I’ll put it in there.”
Yizzy adds: “Every person can say what they want, there’s freedom of speech, but you have a responsibility.
“If you use the word… and you’re not of any black heritage, in this modern day world, be prepared to face a backlash.”
And if a white artist used it “and it had no relation to what you’re saying, you’re just saying it to be controversial, you’re completely unacceptable”, he says.