There’s an interesting article over at Davey D’s blog (link), in which he discusses whether using racial slurs in a freestyle rap battle is fair game. It’s an interesting point (and he really doesn’t do much more than post a few videos and point out the slurs and pose the question), and one that I haven’t really ever thought of. And it surprises me, since questions like these definitely fascinate me.
I actually don’t know where I land. On the one hand, there is something equalizing about the fact that everyone can use the same artillery in a battle, and it’s up to you as an emcee to find a way to cleverly rise above that easy card. On the other hand, is it contributing to a culture of hate, even amidst something that is at its heart, a viciously adversarial act?
I’m honestly not sure. I do know that in the case where I write lyrics, and/or battle people (very rare these days, but I used to do it sometimes), I never go for the racial slur; but, in the interest of full disclosure, I will go after some noticeable element of an opponent, and if race happens to be part of it, then so be it. I’m not adverse to calling someone “Snoop Dogg’s fat cousin,” which I used in a battle once. And that’s basically using racism as a battle tactic, even if I’m not uttering some kind of epithet.
Who knows. It’s weird. Just sayin’..