TO THE EDITOR:
Is my hearing correct? At the UNC basketball game, I heard the Tar Heel basketball team being introduced to the background of a song called “Down for My N’s” (to be clear, the title is edited to avoid using a racially sensitive word) by rapper C-Murder (as his name suggests, he is serving a life prison sentence for killing a 16-year-old fan; search the Steven Thomas case for more details). Fortunately, only the beat was played because the actual song features lyrics like “Make ‘em bleed is the motto that I live by/If you f*** with me it’s a must you die,” and “All my n****’s is down to squeeze the trigger.”
I understand that using a song’s beat without the lyrics can separate it from its original meaning (the beat is catchy). In fact, “Down for my N’s” samples heavily from a mostly instrumental track by Isaac Hayes, which completely lacks a violent message.
However, the C-Murder “Down for My N’s” track is the one that can clearly be heard at UNC basketball games. It is a disgrace that the predominantly black basketball team is presented to the thousands of fans (mostly white) at the Dean Dome with a song that reinforces very negative stereotypes about black men.
There are so many other fantastic hip-hop beats that get fans and players excited for the games but that do not encourage violence and stereotyping against black men.