Nas is no stranger to controversy and when he announced that the title of his upcoming album would include a divisive word, he once again found himself and his music under fire.
Jesse Jackson was one among many activists to speak out, saying, "The title using the 'N' word is morally offensive and socially distasteful. Nas has the right to degrade and denigrate in the name of free speech, but there is no honor in it."
[The title] kind of comes off as something that can be disrespectful. Our older black people can take it the wrong way. Some non-blacks can take it the wrong way, and it becomes a thing that becomes controversial in all the wrong ways. I accept that. I'm here to do music. I'm here to rap about what I feel and what makes sense to me.
Interestingly, before the change of heart Nas had garnered the support of fellow artists in the community, including LL Cool J, Reverend Run, and Jay-Z. Even Alica Keys threw in a quote of her own saying, "He's incredible, he's not a fool. If he has something shocking to say, it's because he wants you to pay attention to it."
Ultimately Nas decided against alienating certain fans. Do you think this was a smart move, or did Nas compromise himself as an artist?