Hip-hop star not mad at SAE house mom singing n-word

Willie Grace | 3/12/2015, 6:19 p.m.
It appears overboard considering that the hook of the song, "All Gold Everything," uses the word only three times per ...
Oklahoma City Sigma Alpha Epsilon's national chapter shut down the chapter Sunday night, suspended all of the chapter's members and threatened to remove those responsible from the fraternity for life.

NORMAN, Oklahoma (CNN) -- Trinidad James isn't mad at Beauton Gilbow.

The rapper's hit song can be heard playing in the background as Gilbow, the house mother of the University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon house -- known as Mom B. -- repeats the n-word seven times on camera.

It appears overboard considering that the hook of the song, "All Gold Everything," uses the word only three times per succession. Gilbow has been bombarded with claims that she's just as racist as the fraternity members caught singing a racist song on a bus last weekend.

It's an allegation she's firmly denied, and the Atlanta rapper who wrote "All Gold Everything" is willing to give her a pass, though he wouldn't condone her use of the word. He doesn't hate her, though.

"I'm not going to be that person," he told CNN. "It's a rock and a hard place. I can't be as upset at that lady. I'm upset at the fraternity because what they're saying is a chant that's just completely disrespectful to the black race. As far as that lady goes -- man, that's an old lady, man. Let that lady be."

The Trinidad-born rapper, whose real name is Nicholas Williams, said he doesn't like giving interviews about race and the n-word because his views are complex and hip-hop stars can be hypocrites when it comes to the topics.

"It's hard to ridicule somebody for something that you continue to use in your music," he said. "Every (hip-hop) artist is using the n-word in their music -- hit records with the n-word in it. You can't be upset when somebody says it. You can't. It's hard to differentiate when you can use it. If we don't want the word used and the word holds such a negative connotation, then we shouldn't use it at all, period."

He compared it to children hearing their parents curse, "and they told you not to curse. You wanted to curse. You cursed."

'Humanly impossible' to be upset

Context matters, he said. If you're using the word in a negative way, talking down to someone or being sarcastic, that's wrong.

"But if it's somebody that you've been rocking with or we're listening to music or whatever, I can't be upset," he said. "It's humanly impossible for you to be upset at a different race saying it when you're saying it in your music. That's crazy to me."

He has a different take on the fraternity members caught clapping, pumping their fists and chanting, "There will never be a ni SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me."

"I don't respect that at all. What kind of world are we living in here?" he asked.

He took it personally, he said, because he and other hip-hop artists travel the country to perform for fraternities, and to know any fraternity member would harbor such vile feelings toward him "burns my heart."