Every rapper nowadays from Drake to Kanye uses the "N-word." It's used in casual talk these days with any acquaintance and is a normal slang word like "salty."
In America, we have a complicated past and present when it comes to race. Slavery and inequality have happened and inequality is still happening. Unlike Germany, we aren't a society who is willing to own up to the ways we have wronged certain ethnic groups. We learn about it in class and say "wow I can't believe they did that." Not that we are apart of the heritage, they did that, not us. Some parts of America don't even teach about slavery and other wrongdoings because it doesn't paint America in her perfect light.
The word nigger has a blindingly egregious history for those who are black. It was used to demean our ancestors. It was used to show that you are less because of the color of your skin. But due to pop culture today and the "reclaiming of the word," we have changed nigger to nigga. As long as you don't have the hard "r" the word has lost its original intent.
Black men and women have been trying to reclaim the word. To use it in a way where the meaning is different and is used with friends and family. That has changed in my opinion. The word has definitely been reclaimed, but it's now used in a way that everyone is willing to say it.
School boards are whitewashing course readings by taking out Huck Finn that uses the word in its cruel origin, but they are okay with kids who say "nigga."
I can't speak for every black person. But I hate the word being used by anyone who doesn't have the right to it. I barely have the right because I haven't endured nearly the same about of discrimination as my parents. I'm uncomfortable just writing it so many times in this article. My family only really uses it for cultural lessons, but never has it been okay in my opinion for people who I know that don't understand the weight of the word to greet me with "hey nigga."
My point in writing this is not to make anyone feel bad, but to make you aware. The word is the word and if you can't understand the origin, then you shouldn't use it, let alone greet a person who identifies as Black with it. As your reading this you might be thinking, "does this mean only black people can us it?" And my answer to that will be yes. This word can't be reclaimed by anyone who isn't black because I carry around and understand the suffering that my family has been through. I can't completely understand the suffering or derogatory terms from any one of a different race, but I can respect and learn from them.
Not using the hard "R" doesn't change the meaning or make me less uncomfortable to be greeted with it. Putting it in a song doesn't change anything, it makes people more desensitized and feel like they have the right to the word. I know not everyone has malicious intent when using it, but not using the "R" doesn't make discrimination any less real. So please, be aware of it.