John Mellencamp Get Mixed Reaction About N-Word Comment
via John Mellencamp / Youtube
In a recent Club Random With Bill Maher interview, rocker and social outspoken John Mellencamp discussed his views on contemporary racism and his dislike of hip-hop, elaborating on why he doesn’t like rappers who blatantly use the N-word in their music and benefit from it.
Mellencamp Confronts N-word Usage in ‘Cuttin’ Heads’
To support his position, Mellencamp cited the Public Enemy rapper Chuck D from the song “Cuttin’ Heads,” released in 2001. The song depicts the tale of Poppi, a white guy who married a Black lady and had a hard time accepting the bigotry he saw as a result. Chuck D expresses his disapproval of the use of the N-word in a lyric by saying:
“‘Cause I connect the word with pain / Now some smile when they scream the name?… Agitating adjective / What gives? / Die N-word die / But I wanna live.”
Mellencamp made it clear that discussions had taken place over the appropriateness of using the N-word in certain situations. In light of this worry, he expressed his lack of passion for rap music. He brought out how this runs counter to the ideals that people have always battled and rebelled against.
In addition, he disagreed that music should be monetized and promoted to primarily white listeners. Mellencamp thought that this was an unethical and problematic scenario.
Calling Out Racism in America, Says It’s ‘Not Any Better’
Additionally, Mellencamp asserted that little to no change has occurred in American racism while he was a child. Mellencamp recalled: “I have a 29-year-old son. One of his best friends was Black. They went somewhere in Los Angeles. The guy got in an argument with this little skinny Black kid, waited for him to walk outside the bar and ran him over and killed him. How much more of a fucking example do you want?” in response to Maher’s question.
The singer of “Pink Houses” continued by insisting that black people’s lives in America are “not any better” today than they did decades ago. He remarked:
“I wrote a song that I never recorded because I thought it was wrong, but it was called ‘From the Fucking Cotton Fields to the Playing Fields’. So my point is that, yeah, so what? Us white people love to have Black people entertain us.”
Orpheus Descending, Mellencamp’s 25th studio album, was released in June; a five-month tour in support of it just ended. He performed at Farm Aid the following month.