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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Here New York City Council member, Leroy Comrie (right,) receives congratulations from entertainment legend, Bill Cosby, on his efforts to raise awareness about discontinuing the use of the N-word. Councilmember Comrie later announced the launch of an essay contest that challenges New York City middle-school students to never use this term of self-hatred. (Photo by Damion Reid)

Comrie goes on to say.........................

Clearly, these multi-talented young men have the ability to create music that resonates with our youth and therefore are in a position to greatly influence them. I believe these artists have the ability to continue creating great music without using the "N-word". Unfortunately, I believe they are uneducated about the history of this terrible word or under pressure from the music industry to use it in their songs.”

Other Grammy-nominated artists at this year’s ceremony whose works included the use of the “N-word” were:

Jasiel A. Robinson (Yung Joc)- his song “Its Goin’Down” was nominated in the category of “Best Rap Song”and features multiple uses of the “N-word” including the opening verse “(N-word) in my face damn near everyday”. The song is featured on the album “New Joc City”, which is distributed by Bad Boy South.

Trevor Smith Jr. (Busta Rhymes)- his song “Touch It”was nominated in the category of “Best Rap Solo Performance and features multiple uses of the “N-word” including the verse “(N-word) saluting and tryin’ to give me a pound”. The song is featured on the album“The Big Bang”, which is distributed by Interscope Records.

Pharrell Williams- his album “In My Mind” was nominated in the category of “Best Rap Album” and included the song “Can I Have It Like That?” The song features multiple uses of the “N-word” including the lyric: “(N-word) that brought you ice creams 2 for a pair”. The album is distributed by Interscope Records.

“Clearly, the use of the "N-word" by these artists and others, as well as by many of young people indicates that there is a horrible disconnect,” continued Council member Comrie. “They’re not aware of the history of pain and suffering connected with this term. Their current usage of it now amounts to nothing more than a fad which can be dispelled with education. However, we, as adults, must be willing to stand up and say enough. We can no longer continue to turn a blind eye and must reclaim our youth and our communities. I think that abolishing the "N-word" is a good beginning.”

Recording Academy members and record companies enter recordings and music videos released during the eligibility year which they consider worthy of recognition in the GRAMMY Awards process. Reviewing sessions by more than 150 experts in various fields are held to ensure that entered recordings meet specific qualifications and have been placed inappropriate fields such as Rock, R&B, Jazz, Country, Gospel, New Age, Rap, Classical and Latin, among others.

The purpose of screenings is not to make artistic or technical judgments about the recordings, but rather to make sure that each entry is eligible and placed in its proper category.

Lists of the finalists are sent to voting members with their second round ballots. The finalists determined by the special nominating committees are also included on these lists.

In this final round, Recording Academy members may vote in the four general categories and in no more than eight of the 31 fields. Ballots again are tabulated in secrecy by an independent accounting firm.

Earlier this month, Councilmember Comrie introduced a symbolic resolution in the New York City Council, urging all New Yorkers to refrain from using the "N-word" during Black History Month. Additionally, he is currently sponsoring an essay contest for New York City middle schoolers in which the theme is “Why the "N-word" should never be used?” The essay contest is being co-sponsored by the Abolish The "N-Word" Project, which has been waging a successful year-long campaign against the use of the hate term.

For more information about the Abolish The N-word Project, log on at:


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