Jay Z sat down with Oprah Winfrey to talk about his personal life and beliefs. During the interview, Oprah asked Jay whether he felt that the use of the “N-word” is necessary. In a separate interview, Jay said that he and Oprah have agreed to disagree because their views come from different angles.
“Oprah, for instance, still can’t get past the N-word issue…I can respect her position. To her, it’s a matter of acknowledging the deep and painful history of the word. To me, it’s just a word, a word whose power is owned by the user and his or her intention. People give words power, so banning a word is futile, really. ‘Nigga’ becomes ‘porch monkey’ becomes ‘coon’ and so on if that’s what is in a person’s heart. The key is to change the person, and we change people through conversation, not through censorship,” Jay said.