© 2017 by Kick The Concrete

What is the spirit of a nigga? Despite the racially-charged emotions the word “nigga” ignites, it’s my belief the term can apply to anyone who remains in an ignorant state. Anyone who continues to perform ignorant acts after knowing better is considered to be operating through the spirit of a nigga. I won’t go through the history of the word, although its origin is controversial and complex in my opinion. Yet, it’s probably indisputable if you use this term in America, you are referring to a person of African American descent. Now that is arguable, since the widespread popularity of the hip hop culture has taken to the word. Rap music has seemingly made the term "nigga" acceptable to all races, as funny as that may sound. Of course that is with the younger generations, so don’t get it twisted. As amusing as all that is, African Americans (specifically the youth) deserve the credit for promoting the term “nigga” more than anyone. As mentioned, it bleeds through hip hop music, but the question is this: Where did the hip hop artist get it from?

 

I know for me I remember my mother using the word "nigga" often when me or my brother did something we had no business doing. It was common to hear it come from the mouth of my angry parent. She was a woman attempting to raise two men. She had to be forceful, so that was one of her vices. If I had to guess where she learned the term, it would probably be the same, from her parent (mother). None of us, my brother and me, and mother, had fathers at home. We all had to learn to survive in the hood. I’m sure my mother learned it from her mother, which would eventually trace back to a slave owner. So here is my point. Despite the uproar the term "nigga" causes when it comes from the mouth of a racist, the truth is, if you were not a slave or lived during the Jim Crow era, you probably heard it first from someone who was an African American. Most likely someone close. Now this does not make it cool or acceptable. But it is proof that by continuing to use the word, we carry on the spirit of a nigga. That is to say we willfully and knowingly carry on the spirit of ignorance. Heck, we made it cool.

 

I admit I am overly guilty. If using the word "nigga" was a crime, I would be arrested, convicted, sentenced and executed. I made it a rule for my kids not to use it toward each other in the house. But since they see me do it, I am sure they do as well outside our four walls. It is a bad habit and kids do what they see, not what you tell them. Good luck if you think different. The power of words is absolute. So if ignorance is a problem amongst people (not just African Americans) we are all guilty of conducting the problem like metal to an electric current. We know better, but we do not do better I am afraid. So it makes sense why the word stays in circulation. We continue to operate in the spirit of a nigga despite how mad we get when it is used by someone who is racist.

 

Do not shoot the messenger, especially if the letter he carries is bringing facts. Everyone is ignorant toward something. Ignorance in itself is not bad. Yet, ignorance answered but ignored creates a whole new issue, stubbornness. That being said, if we continue to promote the spirit of a nigga we should not get upset we he shows up for the curtain call, no matter whose mouth he comes from. It is what it is. Either we exterminate the problem as a whole, or accept it as a whole. Peace and love, people.

Spirit of a Nigga

Lil Raskull

Reconcile

Kayla Sloan

Delbert R. Harris, known to the hip hop world as “RAS” aka “Lil Raskull,” is one of the pioneers for the Houston hip hop scene. He got his start in the early '90s and has sold in the hundreds of thousands of records. RAS recently has ventured out into other business endeavors, but he still stays current on hip hop culture and politics.