While the chorus of support for Justin Bieber has gotten a little quieter in the wake of the leak of a second n-word-filled video, even someone as hardcore as former N.W.A rapper Ice Cube can, kind of, give Justin the benefit of the doubt in this case.
"It's really on him," Cube told MTV News. "You gotta always be in tune with what you sayin' and who you talkin' about. What might be fun and games to you could really, really hurt and affect somebody else." Cube, who co-stars in "22 Jump Street" (whose star, Jonah Hill, issued his own series of apologies this week for an ill-considered use of a homophobic slur), has, of course, made liberal use of the n-word in the past.
The obvious difference being that he's a black man born in gritty South Central, Los Angeles, who was part of a militant rap group that employed the word as a cudgel to beat home a message of rage, empowerment and defiance, not a white Canadian pop singer who, at age 14 and 15, appeared to be using it as a punchline.
"You live and learn," Cube said with a shrug about Bieber, 20, noting that the singer hangs around with a crew of black people, so he probably doesn't have "too many issues."