One day after Kanye West performed alongside Jay-Z in Philadelphia's Made In America festival, the rapper took to his Twitter account to ruminate on what it means to use derogatory words in hip hop songs, most notably "bitch" and "n***a." His twitter-rant comes one month after the notoriety that ensued when Kanye announced that his new song, "Perfect Bitch," was meant to be a tribute to girlfriend Kim Kardashian.
He tweeted the following on Sunday afternoon; for the sake of clarity and chronology, it's been condensed to paragraph-form.
"Usually never tweet questions but I struggle with this so here goes... Is the word BITCH acceptable? To be more specific, is it acceptable for a man to call a woman a bitch even if it's endearing? Even typing it in question form it's still feels harsh? Has hip hop conditioned us to accept this word? Do we love this word as much as we love the word N***A in an endearing way?," West tweeted.
"Correction, Here's the age old question, would we refer to our mothers as bitches? Would we call our fathers n*****s or better yet N***AS? If n***a is such a positive word, why do we feel so uncomfortable for white people to say it, even with a hall pass? Is it ok to use bitch as long as we put BAD in front of it? Like you a BAD BITCH Perhaps the words BITCH and N***A are now neither positive or negative," he continued.
"They are just potent and it depends on how the are used and by whom? #FREETHOUGHT ... What is there was no profanity... What if we decided to legalize profanity in a sense? In France they play songs with cursing on the radio. I was recently questioned about the use of the word BITCH in my music and initially was offended by anyone questioning anything in my music," West said.
"Stevie Wonder never had to use the word bitch to get his point across. I will admit that I sometimes go back an omit cursing from my records. I like to use profanity as a tool and not a crutch," he finished.
Since West broke into the mainstream with his "College Dropout" album, some fans would say he's had trouble with women. Bossip.com reported that exes Alexis Phifer and Amber Rose both said he cheated on and abused them. Then in the music video for his song "Monster," Kanye chose to use images of dead women and decapitated heads set to misogynistic lyrics.
It's also telling that West points out that profanity is given more power as it is condemned, according to Black Book.
By tweeting a peek into his thought process to his more than 8.4 million followers, West also poses the question as to what should be allowed in art to his fans. Both words are incredibly common in rap and hip hop, a fact that has inspired some artists - like comedian Paul Mooney - to swear off using the N-word altogether.
Before heading to Twitter, Kanye was photographed by the paparazzi outside a Union Square movie theater and was the subject of Kim Kardashian's newest obsession, Instagram. In one photo the reality star tweeted, West is pictured with gold chains around his neck and captioned, "3chainzzz," a play on the rapper 2 Chainz. West appeared at Made In America with Common, Pusha T, Big Sean, and a slew of others.