The History Of White Celebrities Using The "N" Word

Guns N' Roses

Date: 1988 

The first song that Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose wrote on his own, "One in a Million," was met with controversy due to racial slurs directed at several groups contained in the lyrics. One line, in particular, caused a great deal of anger: "Police and n***ers, that's right/Get outta my way/Don't need to buy none of your gold chains today."

In an interview with Rolling Stone, when asked about the protest the song had incited, Rose explained that the record was inspired by "a large number of black men" he'd seen trying to hustle people in a L.A. Greyhound bus parking lot. 

"I used words like police and n***ers because you're not allowed to use the word n***er," Axl explained. "Why can black people go up to each other and say, 'N***er,' but when a white guy does it all of a sudden it's a big put-down? I don't like boundaries of any kind. I don't like being told what I can and what I can't say. I used the word  n***er because it's a word to describe somebody that is basically a pain in your life, a problem. The word  n***er doesn't necessarily mean black."

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