It’s been an eventful week for the hip-hop artist Nas. Wednesday afternoon, he joined ColorofChange.org and MoveOn.org outside of Fox News Channel’s New York City headquarters to protest the network’s coverage of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign–treatment that he and the groups allege is racist. (SOHH and Racewire have photos of the demonstration.)
The rapper then proceeded to an appearance on the Colbert Report with a 620,127-signature petition demanding that network president Roger Ailes “find a solution to address racial stereotyping and hate-mongering before it hits the airwaves.” He also performed the anti-Fox track “Sly Fox” from his new album, which debuted at #1 on Tuesday after months of controversy over its title. Nas originally planned to call the LP Nigger, but abandoned the idea amid qualms from music retailers and his label. Ultimately, he released the album eponymously.
Nas’ Fox-slamming and Billboard chart-topping comes at a time of heightened racial tensions in the media: not just criticism of Fox’s Obama coverage, but last week’s New Yorker cover brouhaha and ongoing questions about the role that race plays in Obama’s campaign. This week, the Root explores younger generations’ relationship to race, with a series of essays about Generation Y’s post-racist ambitions, its use of the n-word, and its supposed colorblindness.