It's a racial slur in origin and still is, and it will never be rid of that history. When hiphop was just counter culture in african american ghettoes it made some sense to use it within that context, but since its export into the global mainstream you now just see multi millionnaire rappers still clinging to their hood credentials or whatever dropping album after album riddled with n-word bombs rapping about oppression while they're actually living in gated community mansions with 10 cars in the driveway. From angry and oppressed to the foremost participants in the capitalist inequality machine and all too eager to sell their merchandise to all the suburbanites they oppose, but they're still from the hood man! A lot of these guys have spent more of their lives rich as hell than poor by now.
I like the music but the people promoting it piss me off quite a bit sometimes. Instead of maturing, rising up to use the fame and means they received to better their communities and act responsibly, most have removed themselves into a safe distance surrounded by material wealth where they're perpetually stuck in their childhood golden years, only going around to help entrench deeply negative aspects of the culture that painfully birthed their art. The original 'gangsta rap' crew that popularised the use of racial slurs are worth billions collectively and what are they doing? Mostly just making movies about themselves and eternally reminiscing about the time they were 14-20. It's sad shit. But a non black person saying the n word? Out comes the dormant activist again, that's unacceptable!