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Hakeem hits Nas for ‘N’ word

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Behemoth record label Universal Music Group must change the name of rapper Nas’s new album, “Nigger,” or risk losing $84 million in state investments, a Fort Greene assemblyman said this week.

“[They are] profiting from a racial slur that has been used to dehumanize people of color for centuries,” said Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene), a former entertainment industry big-wig.

“It is time for Nas and other hip-hop artists to clean up their act and stop flooding the airwaves with the N-word.”

Jeffries called on Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to withdraw the $84 million that the state pension fund has invested in Universal and its parent company, Vivendi.

“It’s a staggering amount of money, which at least justifies a review of the appropriateness of the content that is flooding the public,” said Jeffries.

Clinton Miller, of Brown Memorial Baptist Church, and Jill Merritt, a founder of the Abolish the N-Word Project, joined Jeffries in his condemnation of the word.

A recent report by state Sen. Antoine Thompson (D–Buffalo) revealed that the New York State Pension Fund has $2.8 billion invested in 16 major entertainment companies, including Time Warner and Disney. That number did not include the state’s investment in Vivendi.

Universal did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for DiNapoli, who manages the pension fund, said that the comptroller “is concerned about this issue and is intending to contact the company and urge them not to release the album.”

The fight to quell the use of the controversial term has been gaining ground lately. In February, the Council passed legislation urging people not to use the repugnant racial slur.

Jeffries, who was an assistant general counsel at CBS and a lawyer at Viacom before he was elected last year, is intent on hitting the industry where it hurts.

“The [Council made] an important symbolic step, but I’m more interested in the substantive approach of reviewing the multi-billion-dollar investment that the New York State pension fund makes in the entertainment industry.”

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

Joe says:
How can you ban a word?
Oct. 25, 2007, 9:22 pm
Antonio says:
This has happened so many times before. This is stupidity on part of the politician. I agree that the word is foul and vile. However, this is exactly what Nas wants. He will sell the most albums this year because of all the negative press.

It will only galvanzie the rebels in our culture who will see this as some sort of cause worthy of revolting against. And you guys are falling for it. Nas is a genius.
Oct. 26, 2007, 9:31 am
MDL says:
These freaking poiliticians need to stop. The word —— means ignorant person. Websters dictionary changed the meaning recently. The word is only given its derogatory power when people use it in that way. This man is very intelligent (Nas). He must have a very good reason for doing so. Maybe we should wait and here the content of the album, before we crucify him. I wish the fake black leaders would sit down. Get behind a real cause. Brooklyn has alot of other problems.
Oct. 26, 2007, 10:33 am
Derek K Evans says:
Nas is our generation's urban ghetto intellectual; following suit after the late great Tupac Amuru Shakur. How dare these so called outsiders who never listened to his music and especially to his lyrics, deem it necessary to demonize him before the fact. The title of his album is not the issue here the real issue is the fact that its attached to rap music.." And that is bias in and of itself.
Oct. 26, 2007, 10:42 am
shiki says:
Lord knows I am a NAS fan but he has stooped to an all time low. Let's stamp the n word out.

I will not purchase Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones's aka Nas's album if he names it the N word. It is pointless and only crafted to stir up contraversy.

I am tired buying Nas albums based on shock value alone.

Hip Hop is dead because of brother's like this who name stuff for the sake of naming it and do not have the intelligence or abilitly to clearly articulate their point.

I am tired of empty hip hip. Don't buy it if he names it N166a


Let's stand for something and force these rappers to do the same! Stand up for us! As a proud black female, mother, daughter, sister, I am tired of being beat up and degraded in the new Hip Hop era. Old School Raised me and raised me well!

Fight The power!

Sign the petition please

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nonwordnas


www.myspace.com/shikiboo
Oct. 26, 2007, 10:56 am
LIZ says:
HE HAS HIS REASONS
Oct. 26, 2007, 11:03 am
Truth says:
N**ga, please! You haven't even heard Nas' album to determine if he is making a political statement or not. For all you know, he could be making the same arguments about the word as you are. He has been known to release material that is political in nature. Regardless, of that he should be able to express himself however he wants. I do remember something in the Constitution saying somwthing to that effect. If you disagree with the term, just fail to buy the album. I think Mr. Jeffries should be more concerned about getting some affordable housing in Fort Green as well as a host of other issues other than the name of a CD that has yet to be released.
Oct. 26, 2007, 1:35 pm
SUKIT2ME says:
THIS IS SOOOO ——IN STUPID.....GET OVER THE N WORD ALREADY....IT IS ALREADY PART OF OUR STREET SLANG & ALSO A TERM OF ENDEARMENT...
Oct. 26, 2007, 3:28 pm
horatio says:
nas is looking for attention cause why would you name your album —— be for real like any record label will put that out nas yoou need to stop looking for attention you got a wife and kids there is all your attention right there change the name of the album its only right the name is not going to make anybody buy it any more its not going to go platinum so stop with trying to get attention
Oct. 26, 2007, 5:40 pm
Opinionated says:
Someone needs to ask Assemblyman Jeffries if he has ever heard of FREE SPEACH...
Oct. 26, 2007, 6:07 pm
Chantell says:
All the people who comment suck dick
now shut the —— up
get teabagged dirty hoes
Oct. 26, 2007, 6:09 pm
Pearl Jr says:
So these multi-billion companies are on welfare??

So they must too answer to their master, which is the pension fund that has been used to promote Black decline.

NAS, you suffer from the arrogance of ignorance and have just kissed your career goodbye!
Oct. 26, 2007, 10:23 pm
sarah says:
THOSE DUMB AZZ N*GGERS NEED TO SHUT UP
Oct. 26, 2007, 11:11 pm
Amanda says:
I think thats bull but thats america. Preach freedom of speech then black mail people into saying things the way they want them to say it.

God bless america? yeah right %!*$ america
Oct. 27, 2007, 1:47 am
Tamara Shelly says:
If Universal has Nas change the name of his album they will lose more than 84 million when advocates for Freedom of Speech begin to boycott Universal and their affiliates. Until other companies that are benefitting off of racism (nub supporters) and those who have profited and continue to profit off the crime of slavery are held responsible for their actions and take responsibility (including active initiatives to repay/reimburse/reinvest)for communities that have been affected by these actions, can government officials and their supporters suppress a word that is still very relevant and a right that is owed to everyone.

This is our planet!
caizent@gmail.com
Oct. 27, 2007, 1:21 pm
Opio says:
Well, Universal's move now... Nas has to make 84 million or shut up...
Oct. 27, 2007, 2:05 pm
Opio says:
Well, Universal's move now... Nas has to make 84 million or shut up... Turn Off Channel Zero
Oct. 27, 2007, 2:05 pm
Opio says:
Well, Universal's move now... Nas has to make 84 million for the company or shut up... Turn Off Channel Zero
Oct. 27, 2007, 2:07 pm
Kala Nation says:
It is about time someone has the stones to stand up to traitors like Nas and parasites like LA Reid.
Oct. 27, 2007, 11:21 pm
Cookie says:
If this album had a swatstika on the cover, this wouldn't even be up for debate. It's okay for these companies to put out content that insults black people, but not okay to put out content that offends anyone else. I applaud the councilman. Also, this is not a freedom of speec issue. Nas still has the right to say what he wants to say and put out his album - no ones stopping him. The councilman is just asking that public pension dollars are used to fund it. You can't complain about freedom of speech and then not respect peoples right to not want to fund your music.
Oct. 28, 2007, 11:04 am
jim jones says:
hell yea i agree!!!!
Oct. 28, 2007, 6:26 pm
Matt says:
What happened to free speech? Nas has the right to say whatever he wants, and the state pulling 84 million dollars in investments is just another way to restrict his free speech. Yes, the N word is derogatory and a horrible word to use, but if Nas wants to use this word, it is his right to do so.
Oct. 28, 2007, 10:57 pm
blah says:
no comment
Oct. 29, 2007, 11:35 am
Tasha houston, tx says:
I feel that we as black people give that word too much credit. —— means ignorant. Black people are now using the word with ease, meaning that it doesn't affect us in that negative way. We use it to show "hey, this is a word, just a word but it doesn't and will not hurt us any more." Stop giving this word power. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. We have the power. Alot of racist white people stop using the word because they feel as though it's lost it's affect.
Oct. 29, 2007, 11:42 am
Valerie says:
I think Nas is so wrapped up in his celebrity-status and who eh thinks he is, but hsi actions say he is completely out of touch with his fellow African-Americans and the plight we've taken with removing the use of the N Word. To comeout now and name your CD as such, is like saying "1 step forwqrd 2 steps back" and Nas should be ashamed of himself for EVEN thinking this is something he'd want to do. From a PR standpoint, it was also a dumb move. I never ran out and bought his CDs before and I sure as hell wouldn't now
Oct. 29, 2007, 3:25 pm
H. Lewis Smith says:
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries initiative makes for a fine start, but where is the outrage from the rest of the community. There should be a concerted effort put forth to let this Nas person know what time it is. I'm sure that there are other ways for economic pressure to be brought to bear as well. For the past 30 years community leaders, ministers have all looked the other way while rappers took control of the minds of our youth this needs to stop. They were like the three little monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Its time to now stand up and be counted and to stop tolerating the antics of a Nas and/or Boondocks.
Oct. 29, 2007, 8:16 pm
H. Lewis Smith says:
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries initiative makes for a fine start, but where is the outrage from the rest of the community. There should be a concerted effort put forth to let this Nas person know what time it is. I'm sure that there are other ways for economic pressure to be brought to bear as well. For the past 30 years community leaders, ministers have all looked the other way while rappers took control of the minds of our youth this needs to stop. They were like the three little monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Its time to now stand up and be counted and to stop tolerating the antics of a Nas and/or Boondocks
Oct. 29, 2007, 8:24 pm
JAE says:
I feel that he should have the right to name the ablum whatever he may want. People are making this a bigger issue than I feel it really is. I am an African American male. And although I prefer a wide range of music from country to rap I understand Nas point of view. No one has heard the this work yet. He could be speaking about things that are positive but getting attention from a negitive. I just feel we should give him a chance. He has been one of the most positive rappers of his time. Speaking through his music. He never has been the one to just rap to gain, it has always been from his heart and in a positive way. Just may not seem that way to some. LET THAT WORD HOLD US BACK NO MORE MOVE ON
Oct. 29, 2007, 8:33 pm
Frank says:
I think that Mr. Jefferies should further investigate the reason behind the title of Nas' album before threatening to pull the release of the album. I understand his concern for the use of the word, but unlike the majority of the rap artists today, Nas is one of the few conscious rappers talking about the issues we face as black people in the world currently. We are still so caught up with the use of the "N" word and still out of touch with the our youth today. Shouldn't we try looking for a new approach to this problem? It seems that Nas is trying to do just that. Mr. Jefferies should take another approach in this matter.
Nov. 11, 2007, 10:51 pm
Nawshus from BROOKLYN says:
whatever for reals

so WE cant twist the name that was bestowed upon US by THEM now?

phhhhhhhht

like ignoring a word that can be replaced by any other derogatory name like coon or mud baby is going to make a friggin difference on the societal views of white people on the subject of blacks in any context is delusional

im gonna sit back and laugh at the futility of this one





Nov. 27, 2007, 2:46 am
Bro Haki from Baltimore says:
Well I do not know Nas attempt here, though I am going to use Nas music "Hate me now" as my theme music for some of my Business Advertising. On the video he showed himself being Cruxified. I wonder what Hakeem thought of this. A black man is being Cruxified daily in America.
Dec. 25, 2007, 9:43 am
L.A.S. from From Another Universe says:
I feel this album is a reflection of what the world doesn't want to uncover. The true nature of why we've became branded and how we use it on each other. How can we possibly move foward when our youth are caught at the tail end of Willie Lynch (an invisble rope) where we don't see the real truth of our people as whole. We descended from Gods & Godesses not the N word nor the B Word. What he is doing is stating the facts because our elders want to leave it in the past. How can we fully say we are free when our democratic system is flawed and is ruled privately through the U.S. financial system by the Jesuits of Rome. Look it up and google it. Now after I post this it will probably be taken down, reviewed and that might search for me, but I exist in Truth while others don't stand for the youth but instead bash them like our masters use to do us. It's all MENTAL.

PEACE = HOTEP
Feb. 21, 2008, 6:02 pm
K. Aristotle Buchanun from Flatbush, BK says:
First of all, Nas is a staple in the hip hop culture. The last thing we need in Hip Hop are people who do not understand the context of where Nas is coming from with the use of the word. I'm one of the first to admit, I hate to hear my brother's and sister's using the word, n*****, like it's nothing. It generally plagues the younger generation. From a $$ standpoint, Universal is afraid of losing a major amount of money because of the freedom of speech that was granted to Nas. FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!! WHY SHOULD HE HAVE TO HOLD HIS TONGUE?, Why should he NOT name his album, N****!? Hey, Nas, Change it to "The N Word"! White collar is going to have a problem with that too??

I've been a fan of Nas' since his debut on "Live at the BBQ w/Large Professor and I've followed him since then. Let the man speak! If you know Nas' music then, there has to be something else behind him naming the album, N***A! LET THE MAN SPEAK HIS MIND!! If they censor him now, they'll censor his children, they might as well censor Jessie, Al Sharpton and anyone else that has a point to be made!
May 20, 2008, 10:14 am
manolo from wo says:
lmao if only these idiots who said Nas shouldn't do this can see how positive and deep this album actually is.
May 26, 2013, 4 pm

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