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Controversially titled Patti Smith track disappears from streaming services

By | Published on Monday 31 October 2022

Patti Smith

The Patti Smith track ‘Rock N Roll N****r’ has been quietly removed from the streaming services, Rolling Stone has spotted. The controversially titled track appears on her 1978 album ‘Easter’.

Smith has defended her use of the n-word in the track over the years, insisting she was seeking to subvert the meaning of the racial slur.

In a 1990s interview with Rolling Stone, she said: “It was the idea of taking a word that was specific and hurtful to people and obliterating it, blowing that apart and reinventing it so it was more like a badge of courage. Like the kids did with the word punk. It was part of my group’s attempt to break the boundaries, to obliterate labels”.

It’s not entirely clear when the track was removed, nor what prompted its removal. A live version of the song by Smith remains on Spotify as does Marilyn Manson’s cover version, both of which – unlike the main version on the ‘Easter’ album – do not censor the n-word in the track’s listing.