Internet blames Kendrick Lamar for white woman saying N-word

Let me be perfectly clear: Under no circumstance is it OK for a white person, nor a non-Black person of color, to ever say the N-word. There will never be a moment in which doing so would be appropriate. Even if it’s written into an artist’s song, which they ask you to rap, in full—you do not use that word.

However, it would appear that the internet is siding with a white woman who did exactly just that during Kendrick Lamar‘s set at last weekend’s Hangout Music Festival. During a part of the show where Lamar pulled fans onstage to rap “M.A.A.D City,” which uses the N-word several times, a woman who only identified herself as Delaney used the word at least three times before Lamar cut her off, told her to stop using it, then let her try again.

https://twitter.com/_HalieShea23/status/998434675013058561

In videos taken of the fan’s offensive fail, Delaney asks Lamar if she’s “not cool enough for you, bro,” before he tells her that he stopped her because she needs to “bleep one single word.” Once she realizes (read: gets called out on) her use of the racial slur, she apologized, then asked if she used it. While the audience booed at the fan and cheered against Lamar’s suggestion that Delaney try again, he allowed her to proceed.

Regardless of Lamar’s humility at her use of the word, Delaney botched it, missing a line in the opening and throwing off her entire first verse.

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Delaney’s performance did not fare well online, and people tore her down for knowingly using the N-word in the first place.

Some turned the situation around on Lamar, stating that he set the woman up by choosing her to rap along to this particular song, alleging that he embarrassed her on purpose.

Hot-take critics used the moment to push for Lamar and other Black artists to stop using the word in their songs. If they didn’t want white people like Delaney for using the language, they argued, they shouldn’t use the word in their own work to give them that opportunity in the first place.

Others responded with memes or turned the situation into a meme itself.

https://twitter.com/ayanna_marisa/status/998963756679008256

“Whether Black artists should continue using the N-word” is not a debate I can weigh on. But regardless of how Delaney’s use of the word may affect its existence in the entertainment lexicon moving forward, she should never have used it in the first place.

The fact of the matter is, being a Lamar fan and knowing the lyrics to the song, Delaney knew that the N-word would be featured throughout. And once Lamar cut the track and told her she needed to “bleep” the word, Delaney’s feigned ignorance that she had even said it in the first place. Saying, “Oh I’m sorry, did I do it?” shows that she knew it was wrong of her to use the word even in the context of the song.

Then she tried to excuse herself again, saying she just rapped the song the way that Lamar wrote it as if to say, “Those are your lyrics! You made me say the words!”

Even if she appeared apologetic after he called her out, it’s clear Delaney made an active decision to say the words. Not thinking she’d actually get called out, she found herself grasping at straws to deflect from the idea that she could actually be a racist person instead of just ignorant.

The richest part of the story that has appeared to go unnoticed by Lamar’s critics is that Delaney wasn’t even the first white person to go up on stage that night to rap the same song with Lamar, let alone the only person. The white man who went on that night appeared to shut down altogether once on stage, preventing him from having the chance to use the racial slur.

After him, another man identified as Rohan Ghosh rapped the entire song without uttering the word once. This man’s performance was absolute fire, making it clear that fans such like Delaney have absolutely no excuse for not omitting the word from their rhymes.

https://twitter.com/Rghoshy/status/998759933117173761

Rohan won this round of Kendrick karaoke, hands down. The fact that Delaney followed his performance means that she saw a solid example of what to do when choosing whether to use the word as someone who is not Black and completely rejected it.

Regardless of the internet’s ping-ponging criticism from Delaney to Lamar, it is clear that no one wants white people uttering the N-word in the first place.

https://twitter.com/AngryBlackLady/status/999273081746079744

https://twitter.com/Michele11Amber/status/998915280066830336

My fellow white people: Do better.

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.