Paul McCartney Opens Up About Language He Once Used Now Considered ‘Racist’

Paul McCartney talks about being racist at one point in his life, and its overall prevalence in society before things significantly changed.

Bang Showbiz reports via MSN that the former Beatles band member admits he was “racist” in his younger years. It wasn’t intentional — as many people of his generation can attest to. It was culturally accepted to use derogatory comments to describe black people and other minorities until civil rights and public awareness took hold.

Paul McCartney admits in a new interview that he and his friends frequently used offensive and upsetting language that is today deemed “racist.”

“When I was a kid, you were racist without knowing it,” McCartney told Event magazine. “It was just the normal thing to use certain words that you wouldn’t use now. Along the way we suddenly realized how it would make the people you were talking about feel. I don’t think until then we’d ever even thought about other people. It was like a joke between ourselves.”

The legendary musician continued, “But then someone points out, ‘Well, that’s denigrating…’ you know, in my case, black people. And then the penny drops, and I think that’s what happened for a lot of people. Certainly a lot of people in my generation used to use words you wouldn’t use now.”

Ironically, 73-year-old McCartney is featured on Kanye West’s track All Day, which contains over 40 uses of the ‘”n-word.” In spite of that, Paul says the word is used in such a context that the “sting” of the word is removed and is adopted as a “term of endearment.” He goes on to say that this “slang” is genuinely acceptable most notably among “younger black people.”

Paul McCartney extols Kanye as an artist and that it’s about “freedom of speech, literally.”

The song that McCartney was featured in actually had friends, including Oprah Winfrey, urging him to stay away from it due to its controversial nature.

“They said, ‘You cannot be seen to be connected with this,’ ” McCartney shared. “At one point, I was talking about the idea of saying, ‘Yes, you know, I wrote those lyrics. Some of my finest lyrics ever.’ “

Paul interviewed with NME in March, 2015, and shared what drew him to work with Kanye West. The singer said West and Jay Z’s Watch the Throne tour at London’s O2 Arena in 2012 is what changed his mind about hip-hop. He was expecting the concert to be less than impressive, but was excited by the “urban poetry aspect. Like, Bob Dylan is a poet. And so is Jay Z and Kanye.”

One of the most famous singers on the planet who came from the years of classic rock reveals that “keeping his eyes and ears open to what’s new is a way of preventing himself from going stale,” NME wrote.

No one can say Paul McCartney isn’t open minded about music. Probably more so than others who created the same kind of music that stands just as timeless today. Ultimately, he wants to stay current and uses today’s artists as a measure in how to be a “hip” musician.

“If I’m gonna do a tour I like to go and see what other people are doing,” McCartney explained. “I didn’t wanna bring my tour out and be amazingly old-fashioned. So people if are going, ‘Oh man, Beyonce, she was killer!’ I like to go there and go, ‘Yeah, we can do better than this.’ “

Three songs in all reflect McCartney and West’s collaboration. They include “Only One,” released on New Year’s Eve; “FourFiveSeconds,” featuring Rihanna on vocals, and “All Day,” which has its “roots in some unreleased music McCartney wrote in 1969,” the interview article revealed.

[Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images]