22 July 2004

The 'N' word

Really interesting audio documentary on the BBC 1Xtra site on the use of the word nigger (and nigga, and niggaz) in US hiphop, it's historical-social significance in the US, and in the UK, as well as it's place is the UK hiphop/garage scene. (RealAudio)

random opinion: African American culture has always seemed to be at the forefront of popular music and therefore at the forefront of pop culture (check out an excellent book called "crosstown traffic" for more information). It's not surprising you've got suburban white kids in american running around calling each others niggas and it's not surprising that black culture and music permeates society so much.

random note: UK street slang stems more from Jamaican roots than from african american roots, due to (and here I bring my tenuous grip on history into play) the influx of west-indian immigrants coming into the UK in the 40s and 50s.