So, @ the Red Bull Big Tunes last week, this happened:


Dyme Def's Brainstorm faced off against a relatively unknown Everett producer named Moonman; at 4:00, after the first go-round of slaps, he drops a beat that mostly consists of the phrase "BOSS NIGGER". At first, he gesticulates along in that goofy beat-battle way that producers always do—then as Neumos starts to ring with a rising chorus of boos and jeers, his confidence visibly fades. Moonman ends up doing a kind of "What, Me Worry?" shrug that never fails to warm my heart upon repeated viewings. Hosts J.Moore and Vitamin D are clearly aghast at the kid's obliviousness, adding to the comedy. #NoMoonman tags are popping up on Twitter in between 206 hiphop heads. The dude became a local meme.

Some people claim they would've jumped the dude. Some people simply shake their heads. As my colleague asked me, what's the difference when someone like, say, P Smoov makes a song with the word in the beat? I guess, in essence it's not very different, but the circumstances very much are. For one, Moonman's beat was as much built on that word (sampled from the Boss Nigger theme song, naturally) as Lil' Wayne's "A Millie" was built off of an obscure, two-word A Tribe Called Quest sample; whereas "Gettin Money" uses a couple whole bars from another Wayne song, "Stuntin Like My Daddy", to function only as the song's hook, not to celebrate any kind of nigger status, but the titular acquiring of lucre. Also, P didnt play it in front of a packed club full of hiphop heads, pantomiming blindness as the Wayne snip in his beat said "can't see you little niggas, the money in the way". (That would actually be pretty fuckin' ballsy.)

So the most important difference here is Moonman's obliviousness. Did he really think, "YO, I'M BOUTS TO KILL IT"? I'm hoping to ask him myself.