Malcolm Jamal Warner Calls For End Of N-Word Use In Hip-Hop

Malcom Jamal Warner
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 14: Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner attends 2023 Beloved Community Awards at Hyatt Regency Atlanta on January 14, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Formerly known as the Salute Greatness Gala, the Beloved Community Awards is a part of the weeklong celebration of the 2023 King Holiday Observance. The event recognizes community leaders, businesses, and organizations that exemplify excellence in leadership, philanthropy and social justice in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Malcolm-Jamal Warner has expressed strong opinions about profanity in Hip-Hop. On his new podcast, Not All Hood, Warner discussed his changing relationship with the culture due to the excessive use of the word “ni**a” in rap lyrics.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s Call for Change

“I think why I’m more against it now is because it’s used so gratuitously,” said the 53-year-old actor. “It’s used without regard. At this point, for me, in Hip-Hop, I think there should be a moratorium on ‘ni**a” and ‘bi**h.’ It’s low-hanging fruit. It’s so easy. Everybody fu**ing does it to the point that it’s corny.”

Warner, best known for his role in The Cosby Show, also pointed out how these words affect listeners. He shared his disappointment with J. Cole, a rapper he once admired.

“There are MCs who I love, who I cannot listen to anymore. I love J. Cole but I had to stop listening to J. Cole because I got tired of hearing ‘nia’ and ‘bih’ every two sentences. Because he’s proven himself to be such an incredible lyricist, [so I hate] the regularity that he does [use those words],” he explained.

Warner’s critique is part of a broader conversation about the evolution of Hip-Hop. Earlier this year, rapper Saigon criticized Sean “Diddy” Combs’ influence, claiming that his hit “All About The Benjamins” shifted Hip-Hop culture towards materialism. Saigon’s sentiment was echoed by others, including Xzibit and Erick Sermon, who lamented the current state of the genre.

Social Media Reactions

The podcast episode sparked diverse reactions on social media. Some users agreed with Warner, highlighting the negative impact of constant profanity in music. One person tweeted, “Most people don’t even understand how constantly listening to the n word and profanity works negatively against them. Literally we are fighting against principalities and spiritual wickedness in high and low places and one way they enter into our mindset is via words and music.”

Others found Warner’s example of J. Cole surprising. “Not a fan of the word myself, but J. Cole being used as an example is insane out of all rappers. He’s quite tame compared to others,” one user tweeted.

Some defended J. Cole, noting that his early work was more profane. “Early on in J. Cole’s career he used ‘nigga’ in almost every other bar. It was extremely annoying and why I stopped listening to him after his first album,” another tweet read. However, there were also voices calling Warner’s stance short-sighted, suggesting it limits appreciation for the broader spectrum of Black artistry.

As the conversation continues, Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s call for a moratorium on the N-word and other expletives in Hip-Hop highlights a growing desire for change and introspection within the culture.