*No matter what situation it is, the N-Word will always raise an eyebrow or two whenever it’s comes out of someone’s mouth. Especially if that someone is white.
For 50 Cent, the N-word is an important factor in maintaining the authenticity of Joseph Sikora’s character, Tommy Egan, on the popular Starz series “Power.” On the program, Egan is known as the very loyal partner-in-crime of James “Ghost” St. Patrick, who is played by Omari Hardwick. The characters grew up alongside each other in the rough streets of New York.
“I think the best thing was taking us to the neighborhood. I think that street credibility is palpable in the characterization of Tommy because it rings true,” Sikora told TheGrio.com regarding advice 50 gave him on his character. “I think that you need to have some of that experience… at least see those sights and meet those people.”
“You [say] things that you wouldn’t say, or he wouldn’t be comfortable saying things that I’m asking him to say until he sees the temperament of the people,” 50 Cent added. “Because over there, probably the most time they called you Ni**a.”
“Yo that’s my Ni**a Tommy,” the rapper gave as an example. “They’re not using it as a racial term, They’re saying that’s my guy.”
As for whether its okay for folks of any race to use the N-word, it all comes down to what neighborhood that person comes from, according to 50 Cent.
“When you live there. When you there, they ain’t gonna see a difference in you or anyone else… it’s just you’re not the police,” he said
With Hardwick, there shouldn’t be a debate regarding the use of the N-word on “Power.”
“It shouldn’t be a debate about whether or not Joe should be allowed to use it,” he told The Grio. “If Tommy grew up in that world, and that was normal and everyday practice for him.. for Tommy to say that, if it authenticates what we grew up in as characters, I don’t think it should be a debate. It’s just truth.”
“I’m mad that we don’t say n—- in the show,” Howard said in an interview Entertainment Weekly earlier this year. “Why is TV showing something different from the reality of the world? Why is there a thing called censorship that stop people from hearing everyday talk? We use n—-every day. It’s become part of a conversation — why aren’t we using it in the show?”
Despite Howard’s feelings on the controversial word, his “Empire” co-star Taraji P. Henson and the show’s co-creator Lee Daniels were not in favor of bringing the N-word into the dialogue on the hit Fox show.
“Naw, you might piss people off,” Henson told TMZ regarding whether her fellow “Empire” cast mates should use the N-word.
To see 50 Cent and Hardwick’s interview with The Grio, check out the video below: