Success on the Web invites imitation and, as they say, player haters. And News Corp.-owned MySpace has seen plenty of ‘em — most recently Eons.com — essentially a MySpace for geezers. Meet the latest Myspace spinoff: Niggaspace.
On Sunday, Niggaspace — a “place fo’ niggas” — was launched by an 18-year-old New Jersey native who goes by the name of “Tyrone” — a reference to the “Tyrone Biggums” character played by Dave Chappelle on Chappelle’s Show. Since its Sunday launch, the site has seen over 30,000 unique visitors, “Tyrone” says.
“The site is in no way meant to be racist,” he told FishbowlNY today. The domain name was purchased in February, “Tyrone” says, with the intention of creating an alternative to MySpace where “black people can feel comfortable.” “Tyrone,” though, says Niggaspace is for everyone, not just blacks.
According to its “About” section, “you definitely don’t have to be black to join! We just want to embrace the black culture that continues to innovate and strive!”
“Tyrone,” who declined to confirm his own race, says he wants to remain anonymous because he can see “blood being shed” over the site and, specifically, the word “nigga,” a “paradox of the English language,” he says. “People feel so passionate about it.” He is quick to point out that “nigga” should not to be confused with “nigger.”
“Tyrone” adds: “Martin Luther King had his mission lined up, and he was assassinated.”
Approximately 1,500 users have registered with the site according to “Tyrone.” (“Im2thick4u,” a 19-year-old woman from Chicago describes herself, not surpisingly, as “bootylicious”; other members’ descriptions are, well, not suitable for work.) He says he has spent approximately $550 to get the site up and running, and plans additional community enhancements, such as the ability to host “rap battles.”
(An administrator profile for “Tyrone” is here.)
According to whois.com, Niggaspace’s administrative contact is located in Los Angeles just outside LAX.
In an e-mail provided to FishbowlNY, “Tyrone” responds to one of what we can only imagine will be thousands of outcries for the name of the site to be changed, if not folded entirely:
This is in no way meant to be racist. Moreover, it’s supposed to bring a community of people together, rather than apart.
A common endearing term used by many black people is, “nigga” not to be confused with a different and offensive term, “nigger”. The word, “nigga” is in rap songs, daily conversations, on TV, etc. yet the word still has so much mixed emotions attached. One of my intentions is for this word to no longer have such mixed emotions. I want the word to unify a people who have made so many strides in society. I do not wish for the word to conjur up images of hate or ignorance, rather images of brotherhood.
How great would it be, if the mixed emotions that this word carrie along with it, were stripped down to something more positive? Only positive.
Of course there are going to be two sides to this, but just know that intentions are noble.