Ever since Kanye West & Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne dropped in August, “Ni**as in Paris” has been on rotation in the clubs, events and on the radio — basically anywhere this song could be played, it’s been played! To have the slightest thought that the song would not become a popular hit amongst all fans was a crazy enough thought to have. But when Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted about the “Ni**as in Paris” performance by Kanye and Jay-Z in Paris, all hell broke loose!
Kanye and Jay-Z broke their performance record last week when they performed “Ni**as in Paris” 11 times while performing in Paris on June 2nd. Just thinking about the performance, people could only imagine the thrill that the crowd felt when it took place. So when Gwyneth wrote on Twitter, “Ni**as in paris for real @mrteriusnash (The Dream) tyty, beehigh,” to share her excitement with fans, it was shocking to hear that people were enraged that she wrote the word ‘ni**as.’
People took to Twitter to tell Gwyneth how they felt it was disrespectful and that she had no right to use that word. Gwyneth simply responded back with, “Hold Up, It’s the title of the song,” and in all reality, it truly is the title of the song! But fans did not find that to be a good enough excuse and continue to voice their opinions. The Dream and Russell Simmons took to Twitter to defend Gwyneth and here is what they had to say:
“Yall still on that s–t! Yall Give “N—a To Much power” somewhere the actual racist People are Laughing there asses off, so much energy. Let that Word hold power over me but yet use it as Power. Those same slaves Great,Great grands are Wiser now and Free! I’m not Saying don’t forget but be logical and use common sense. If it meant the Same as it Did then WE wouldn’t use it, that would make us ignorant We USE IT because Evidently it doesn’t mean the same if u really give a s–t u stop using it. Sure Attack her you know she’s not going to do anything, you know in your heart she didn’t mean it in anyway. The world is just full of Bull s–tters who act like they give a s–t haven’t did one righteous act in there lives. Its a Hot Topic because people aint got s–t To Do! Period. Say what u want. No one called Trayvon N—a before he shot him it was an action. Racism is an Action! What! WE GIVE THE WORD TO MUCH POWER! Any way N—az! What’s GOOD”
“In the case of “N*ggas in Paris,” it is clear that these two poets are celebrating the fact that they now travel the world and are literally ballin’ in Paris … it started as a badge of honor, something to be proud of, something to poke their chests out at. Because for them, when they were kids, Paris was a million miles away and now it’s a private jet ride. The idea of being in Paris with a movie star, whether she’s black or white, is incredible!
There is something truly inspiring about black culture and black music, hip-hop culture and hip-hop music. No matter what color skin you might have, there is an overriding good effect that this music has on you. It is contagious. It was this explosive expression that spread out of the inner cities of America into the walkmans of kids like Gwyneth Paltrow during their childhoods in 1980s and 1990s. It allowed white kids to begin to sympathize with the plight of many in black America. Having any Hollywood starlet at your concert was unimaginable, and having her quote your lyrics as a badge of honor that she was hanging out with you, you never would have dreamed of that – until your poetry hit the market and changed the world.
So, for Gwyneth to tweet out her excitement about hip-hop taking over the planet is a good thing. She didn’t mean any harm, she just was trying to ball so hard, and like Jay-Z says, “motherf*ckers can’t fine” her.”
I completely agree with what Russell Simmons and The Dream are saying. If a certain race is not allowed to say a certain word, even if it’s the title of a song, then it should not be used at all. Music is global — especially hip-hop — and it will continue to be. A certain race can not be shut out of a part of society because of certain words or actions that others felt should not be used. Either everyone is allowed to use the word, or it should be shut out of society altogether because it is burning a bridge between races, relationships and friendships.