In a Playboy interview full of rambling, provocative swagger, John Mayer reportedly dropped the n-bomb. Evann Gastaldo at Newser reports that in elaborating on the concept of a "hood pass"--i.e. street cred--Mayer said: "If you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass?"
Mayer apologized via Twitter, saying it was "such a shame that I did because the point I was trying...to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize using it...because I realize that there's no intellectualizing a word that is so emotionally charged."
But Mayer also tried to blame the media, saying he'd tried to be "raw" in interviews "as an attempt to not let the waves of criticism get to me ... I wanted to be a blues guitar player. And a singer. And a songwriter. Not a shock jock. I don't have the stomach for it." The same day, he interrupted a concert to apologize to his bandmates and declare he was "giving up the media game," choking up as he delivered the monologue.
The Web was unimpressed with Mayer's histrionic mea culpas.
- This Is A Slap In The Face, writes Talia Whyte of The Grio, an African-American news source:
For someone who first came to national prominence courtesy of Dave Chappelle, has worked on albums with Jay-Z and Kanye West and claims to be down with black people, one would think Mayer would be savvy enough to understand that its never cool to use the n-word, even if he does have a "hood card"...Furthermore, what is most troubling is that he has made a career and a lot of money playing black music, and it almost feels like a slap in the face of the collective black community that such language would come out of his mouth.
- Who Do You Think Your Are? Chris Beam at Slate tweets: "The thing about John Mayer is he acts far too cool for somebody who makes the kind of music he makes."
- Are You Out Of Your Mind? Gawker's Richard Lawson tears apart the mystery that is John Mayer's psyche:
When you're John Mayer the media game is saying ridiculous things for an audience that wants, because what do they have to lose, to watch you fail. Naively, Mayer seemed to figure that everyone is cool and open these days, that we'd respect his candor, that we'd want to be his friend. Which is not how any of this works! For now we hope that the dejected and shameful fellow will stop the damn Twittering and remember that, should this whole music thing die out because he said a few really dumb things in some magazines and stuff, he always has a home with us.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.