Kanye West’s protege, and “Ni**as In Paris” producer, Hit-Boy, had this to say in regards to his controversial hit record in an interview with Vulture.
Gwyneth Paltrow has come under fire for tweeting “Ni**as in Paris,” using the N-word, from a Watch the Throne show in Paris. But The-Dream said he tweeted it from her phone unbeknownst to her. Since you were there with them, did you see what happened?
I was right there with The-Dream and Beyoncé and Gwyneth and all those people, and we were just having a good time. I didn’t see that [the tweet], but they were partying together. They were sitting directly next to each other, so you never know. I just know we were all in the moment and Champagne was flowing. That moment was just incredible.
Katy Perry performed an innocuous rendition of “N***as in Paris”, sans the N-word, earlier this year. Honestly, it can get awkward in mixed audiences when that word comes on in the song. Did you ever consider how the title and lyrics would be received or mimicked by non-black fans?
It’s funny you say that. A moment popped in my head during the concert when Kanye is performing “All of the Lights” and he says, “This is your one chance to get away saying ‘MJ gone/Our n***a dead.’” I feel like it’s that same moment. It’s so powerful that you can’t really — the song is called what it’s called — long as it’s not in a disrespectful way, honestly, I don’t really mind it.
Not everyone knows the difference between using the N-word respectfully and not using it respectfully, though. Do rappers have a responsibility to show fans the difference?
I guess it’s the same as if you listen to an old Eminem album and he’s talking about killing people and stuff like that. It’s just a fine line. I don’t know who’s really responsible, but they [the rappers] just meant [for people to] enjoy that moment. We named the song this and we knew people would call it that, so it is what it is.
Do you have any white friends that get a pass? Have you advised them that every Black person they encounter isn’t necessarily going to feel the same way?