Patti Smith track ‘Rock N Roll N****r’ has been quietly removed from streaming services.
The controversial track from Patti Smith Group’s 1978 album ‘Easter’ is no longer available on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music, according to Rolling Stone, however, the exact date of the song’s removal and Smith’s involvement is currently unknown.
The song is still available on physical copies of ‘Easter’, which features ‘Because The Night’ one of Smith’s biggest hits. Smith co-wrote ‘Rock N Roll N****r’ with guitarist, Lenny Kay. In the album’s liner notes, she wrote “N****r no invented for color it was MADE FOR THE PLAGUE”. She continued, “The word (art) must be redefined — all mutants and the new babies born sans eyebrow and tonsil … any man who extends beyond the classic form is a n****r.”
In the song, Smith uses the racial slur to describe multiple figures including, Jimi Hendrix, Jackson Pollack, Jesus Christ, “grandma.” Smith has not played the song live since 2019, but the track was part of her set list for decades.
Other artists have covered the track, including Marilyn Manson and Courtney Love. Trent Reznor remixed the song and included it on the ‘Natural Born Killers’ soundtrack in 1994.
Earlier this month, the Smith announced she would be releasing a new book inspired by her official Instagram account, A Book Of Days. The book will comprise more than 365 photographs, capturing Smith’s “life on and off the road” over the course of one year. It’s due for release on November 15 via Penguin Random House (pre-order here).
Additionally, Smith has announced two shows with her band at Brooklyn Steel in New York on December 29 and 30, which is her 76th birthday. Tickets for the new show go on sale here. Earlier this year, Patti Smith said she has plans to release “one more album”. Her 11th and most recent full-length record, ‘Banga’, came out back in 2012.