An Investigation: Does Jerrod Carmichael Say the N-Word ‘With the Hard R’ in This Clip About His Family Asking Him for Money?

Illustration for article titled An Investigation: Does Jerrod Carmichael Say the N-Word ‘With the Hard R’ in This Clip About His Family Asking Him for Money?
Screenshot: HBO Sports

In a now viral clip from an upcoming episode of LeBron James’ The Shop, the topic of financial obligations to family members is brought up, and a few of the men present—Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, and Jerrod Carmichael specifically—weigh in. Although it’s impossible to possess an accurate judgment of their true feelings about assisting family from this short clip, the general tenor of the room seemed to be “Yeah. I’m good with that,” which is disappointing. (That said, only three people really spoke in this clip, and one of them—2 Chainz—was less “Nah” and more “Yeah. I do, but it’s stressful as fuck.”)


But you know what? I’m not that interested today in what these millionaires and millionaire-adjacent niggas do with their money! Really, I’m not! Instead, my focus is on much, much, much more important things, and that’s whether Jerrod Carmichael refers to his family as “niggas” or “niggers” at the 30-second mark.

Why does this matter? Because it does! And if I explain why, then that would negate the point of you asking and me answering!

Anyway, the “nigger” jumped out at me the first time I saw this clip. It didn’t quite remind me of Drake’s iconic “That’s that nigger” but it was pretty damn close. I also realize that perhaps my ears possess some sort of nigga/nigger hypersensitivity, so I asked 10 nigga/nigger mavens for their thoughts on the matter, and thoughts are split!

From The Root Managing Editor Genetta Adams: “Is this going to be like Laurel or Yanni? Because it sounds like he said Niggas to me.

From a Facebook text thread with two writer people who wish to remain anonymous:

Person 1: “Nah. I don’t hear the hard r.

Person 2: “Hard r definitely. Harder than Drake.

From Natalie Degraffinried of VSB I mean The Root I mean Kotaku: “I definitely just hear niggas with an uncle accent lol.


From Shamira Ibrahim, who is fancy now: “It’s def a fine line. About as shaky as his line up.

Verdict? I still think he said it, but I also think that maybe because he’s talking about his family here like they’re niggers, I projected it on him. Like some sort of presumed Freudian nigger slip.


Moral of the story? Don’t be stingy to your niggas!

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Shamira Ibrahim

Being called fancy by the nigga about to go on a national book tour feels a bit like being called pretty by Naomi Campbell.