In January this year, magazine reports claimed that, after the birth of his first child, a baby girl, rapper Jay-Z had sworn off profanities in music, having come to the conclusion he would never want to hear a man call her the B-word. Kanye West too has his doubts about the use of the word.
Using his Twitter
feed as a means of venting, Kanye waxes poetic on the use of profanities in general in rap music
, and of the B-word in particular.
For once, he doesn’t do it in caps, as he once used to – and neither does he aim to offer a concrete answer because, as he eventually puts it, there can’t be just one answer to the question.
As he sees it, both the B-word and the N-word are offensive only in certain contexts, but Kanye isn’t yet decided whether that means they’re ok for use in rap music, even if they’re meant in an endearing way.
“I usually never tweet questions but I struggle with this so here goes... Is the word B[word] acceptable? To be more specific, is it acceptable for a man to call a woman a b[word] even if it's endearing? Has hip hop conditioned us to accept this word?” Kanye asks.
He goes on to say that he started to think about this when asked by a reporter whether he was condoning the use of profanities in rap by using them in his lyrics.
The question initially irked him but, on second thought, he realized that it was entirely justified.
“Do we love this word as much as we love the word N[word] in an endearing way? correction, Here's the age old question, would we refer to our mothers as b[word]? Would' we call our fathers niggers or better yet N[word]?” the rapper asks.
“If n[word] is such a positive word, why do we feel so uncomfortable for white people to say it, even with a hall pass? […] They are just potent and it depends on how [they] are used and by whom? #FREETHOUGHT,” he further says.
“Stevie Wonder never had to use the word b[word] to get his point across. I will admit that I sometimes go back an omit cursing from my records. I like to use profanity as a tool and not a crutch. I'm not tweeting to say what we need and what we don't... I just wanted to think out loud with you guys today,” Kanye concludes by saying.