Rapper Ice Cube told some much-needed truths to "Real Time" host Bill Maher Friday night after the late-night comedian dropped the n-word during the live broadcast of last week's show, sparking a national controversy about the modern use of racial slurs and, frankly, the future of HBO's politically incorrect show.
"I knew you were going to fuck up sooner than later," Ice Cube told Maher during the celebrity guest segment of the show.
The rapper said that he had accepted Maher's apology, but he pointed out that "Real Time with Bill Maher" was at a crossroads.
"Is this a political show? Or is it a show about jokes?" Ice Cube asked the host. "This to me is a political show. And I just think that you have to not step on the political messages with a joke because somethings ain't just funny."
Maher explained that his joke was completely off the cuff, a horrible yet unsurprising mistake for a comedian the crosses the lines in political humor.
Ice Cube indicated that he understood, but added: "Sometimes you sound like a red-neck trucker."
The rapper then offered one of the most cogent explanations as to the hurtful meaning and purpose of the n-word in the 21st century.
"I think it's a lot of guys out there who cross the line 'cause they are a little too familiar, or they think they are too familiar," he said. "Or it's guys who might had a black girl friend or two who made them some Koolaide, so they think they can cross the line, but they can't."
"It's a word that has been used against us — like a knife," he added. "You can use it as a weapon or you can use it as a tool. It has been used as a weapon against us by white people. And we are not going to let that happen again, by nobody. Because it is not cool."