Tuesday, June 28, 2005


The NESS DIGI show is a smooth, well-informed and comfortable arena where we talk about various issues and critique new music. It’s broadcast live on Thursday mornings from 3am to 6am on 90.3 FM in Harlem, NY. If you can’t get the station, it is also available here for your internet listening pleasure. NESS also spins some of the hottest mixes out there in radio world. DJ Diva, Kwazo (Riverside Representa), JAM 1 and Skits combine to lend their opinions and to bring up relevant topics for the Hip-Hop community. Some of the topics we've discussed were:

Gullibility within the Hip Hop community
Michael Jackson’s exoneration
Cassidy’s arrest

On last week’s show a few songs that were critiqued were:

“She’s got kids” by Lyfe Jennings
Comments: He is definitely an artist to watch. The subject matter of the song is explosive. His voice lends a credibility to emotions he experiences while trying to reconcile his own vulnerabilities to the situation. The song was pumped by all.

“I Know” by Raphael Saadiq featuring Shuggie Otis
Comments: Great cut off his LP. Has a Prince feel to it. Raphael diversifies his CD with different rhythms and genres; this gives the listener a variety of tunes by Mr. Saadiq. The song was pumped.

“Clap those things” by Mobb Deep featuring 50 Cent
Comments: Great commercial track for an underground group. The song was pumped. (yes, even by me)

One of the topics we recently discussed was the question of using the word “Nigger” in our everyday vocabulary. Leading etymologists have concluded that the word nigger is derived from the Spanish word Negro: which was used to describe the color black. The white Europeans and Americans working with the Spanish slavers picked up on the word and changed it to suit their own purpose. Nigger was used by European and American whites to impose contempt upon blacks as an inferior race. The word was also used to describe blacks who had negative characteristics: lazy, ignorant, angry, physically strong, animalistic, obsessively self indulgent and prone to wanton violence.

There developed an interesting habit of using the word nigger as a prefix to describe an action or event. One interesting term is “niggerlipping”- wetting the end of a cigarette while smoking it. There was also a puzzle game called “Chopped Up Niggas”

Now the word nigger is described as a term of endearment by blacks done with irony that is based on an understanding of the term’s racist origins and a presumed close relationship with the person they are saying it to. It’s now a symbol of Street Authenticity. The Dictionary of Afro-American Slang defines it as “nigger is a racial term with undertones of warmth and goodwill reflecting a sensibility that is aware of black history”.

Some of the questions raised on the show were:

Knowing the history of the word, how can black people use it as a term of endearment?
Why are we so uncomfortable when we hear other races use the term?
Should they be allowed to use it in the same manner that we do?
Why is it that we never see the Jews calling each other “Kikes” in a friendly manner or Hispanics using the word “Spic” when greeting each other, but “Wassup Nigga” is so acceptable?

If you want to chime in on any of these topics, feel free to leave a comment below.

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