Tom Hanks' rapper son Chet Haze has defended his use of the N-word, insisting the term transcends race and is used to express "camaraderie and love" in the hip-hop community.
The Oscar winner's 24-year-old son, real name Chester Hanks, has made a name for himself as an MC, but critics have repeatedly slammed him for his liberal use of the racial slur.
In a recent Instagram post promoting his new song, Haze wrote in the caption, "Check out the song me and my n**** @chillthatdude just dropped (released)."
His followers soon took aim at his ease in using the N-word, but he quickly hit back, insisting he was exercising his right to "FREE SPEECH".
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Haze subsequently posted a video of himself on Instagram, saying, "Look, I know the majority of y'all are not going to get this, because the history is still so fresh in our country. But hip-hop isn't about race - it's about the culture you identify with."
He also added a lengthy caption which reads, "If I say the word n**** I say it amongst people I love and who love me. If I say 'f*** y'all hatin ass n****' it's because that's really how I felt at the time. And I don't accept society getting to decide what ANYBODY can or can't say.
"Now I understand the older generation who grew up in the Jim Crowe era might have strong feelings against this. And that's understandable ... But what I'm saying is this is 2015 ... And even tho we are still far from where we need to be and black people are still being literally KILLED by a RACIST and f***ed up system ...
"We have also reached a point where the word can no longer have a negative connotation if we so choose. And who is to say only black people can use it? The way I see it, it's a word that unifies the culture of HIP-HOP across ALL RACES, which is actually kind of a beautiful thing.
"It's a word that can be used out of camaraderie and love, not just exclusively for black people. What's the point in putting all these built up 'rules' about it. It's time to let go. You can hate me or love me for it, but can't nobody tell me what I can or can't say. It's got nothing to do with trying to be a thug. It's about the culture of the music... Some people will get it, some people won't. Either way, Ima keep living my life however the f*** I want. ALL LOVE (sic)."
Haze ended the rant with a line from his dad's classic film Forrest Gump, writing, "And that's all I have to say about that (no pun intended) lol (laugh out loud)".