Months after he called a white fan out for using the “n-word” on stage, Kendrick Lamar is explaining why everybody cannot use the word.
The 31-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper is the cover story for Vanity Fair‘s August issue. In the profile of Lamar released Thursday, the rapper was asked about an incident that took place last May when a fan attempted to use the word “n**ga” during his performance.
Lamar was a performer at the Hangout Festival in Alabama where he invited a fan named Delaney to help him rap his 2012 hit, “m.A.A.d city.” Delaney, a white fan, uttered the “n-word” multiple times before Lamar stopped the entire performance amid boos from the audience.
After explaining that she couldn’t use that word, a number of people on social media debated about why. Now, Lamar is answering that question while reflecting on the incident in Vanity Fair.
“Let me put it to you in its simplest form. I’ve been on this earth for 30 years, and there’s been so many things a Caucasian person said I couldn’t do,” Lamar told Vanity Fair. “Get good credit. Buy a house in an urban city. So many things – you can’t do that – whether it’s from afar or close up.”
The rapper drove his point home by pleading for people to understand that everyone can not use the racially charged word.
“So if I say this is my word, let me have this one word, please let me have that word,” he said.
During the controversial performance in May, Delaney did not seem to initially understand why Lamar stopped the music to tell her that she couldn’t use the term.
“Am I not cool enough for you? What’s up, bro,” she asked before he told her that she needed to “bleep one word” from her performance.
The entire exchange was caught on tape and posted to a fan’s Twitter account in May.
While Delaney offered her apologies and insisted that she did not realize she was saying the word, the crowd was already against her. When Lamar asked the audience if he should give her another chance to perform the song with him, many responded with booing.
However, Lamar decided to give the girl another chance to censor herself and continued to perform the song with her. After his latest story in Vanity Fair, the next fan who Lamar brings to perform with him on stage may think twice about censoring themselves during the performance.