Led Zeppelin. Peter Gabriel. Billy Joel. Pink Floyd. Just typing those names makes me feel even more white. However ... as age has bestowed her many gifts on my intellect and Adonis like figure, the playlist has grown to include the likes of Mr. Jay Z, the great Tito Jackson and, yes, 50 cent.
(BTW - apparently it is not pronounced F-i-f-t-y; it's fiddy. This will serve you well in your next conversation at the country club.)
Which brings us to today's problem - What does a white dude do when he likes a song that contains a word that is waaaaaaay off limits? If you are not Miami Dolphins guard Richie Icognito, who reportedly has used the N-word for teammates, but has been approved as an honorary black man by his teammates, what are you supposed to do?
In the bad but addictive 1999 movie "Any Given Sunday", 50 Cent's song, "My Ni**as" (this is how it's listed verbatim on Amazon.com) plays over a slow-motion football scene. Yeah, no way in hell I am linking to that song on this blog.
This song is not as good as Fiddy's "In the Club" but it has a hard, pulsating beat that can be good as background music when running, lifting weights, hitting the gym bag, UFC and or Kung-Fo fighting.
In a song that lasts on 1 minutes and 27 seconds, the "n-word" is used more than 43 times; I tried to keep counting but it was impossible to keep up.
Do I not like this song because it contains a word that is as vile and vicious as any in the English language, and effectively prevents me from stretching my vocal talents as a duet with Mr. Cent?
Do I go ahead and just let it rip, to heck with the consequences?
Or do I prefer a song that avoids such brutal words but instead implies a potentially nastier message, such as Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", which is deragatory towards women?
The ideal answer is to simply ban the "n-word" for all us. Just to simply drop it. Since that won't be happening ever, the next best alternative is for us white dudes is to follow the rules set by South Park's episode, "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson"; Stan's father drops the "n-word" on a game show and learns to never use the word despite in any circumstance, with even the most benign intention.
Us white dudes can like and listen to Fiddy's Greatest N-Bombing hits, but we just can't sing along ... unless we are Richie Icognito. Then it's cool.
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