Tom Hanks' rapping son defends right to use “N-word”

Peter KramerIn happier times: From left

Like many stars in the hip-hop industry, aspiring rapper Chet Haze has known hardship. Sure, as the son of Academy Award winner (and Concord native) Tom Hanks, he enjoyed a pretty pampered childhood. And sure, the 24-year-old does have plenty of designer clothes, gaudy jewelry and bro-tastic sunglasses.

But for some strange reason, people just won’t let him get away with using the word “nigga.”

“If I say the word nigga I say it amongst people I love and who love me,” Haze posted on Instagram on Tuesday. “If I say ‘fuck yall hatin ass niggaz,’ it’s because that’s really how I felt at the time.”

The pugnacious rapper also posted several defensive videos in response to criticism of his using the word in social-media photo captions.

“The way I see it,” Haze concluded, “it’s a word that unifies the culture of hip-hop across all races, which is actually kind of a beautiful thing.”

In contrast, Haze’s older brother, Colin Hanks, just directed a documentary about San Francisco’s beloved Tower Records. Not to stoke a sibling rivalry, but somebody’s clearly pulling ahead.

‘Babylon’ scholarships given

The Steve Silver Foundation and “Beach Blanket Babylon,” San Francisco’s enduring musical revue, have awarded three $10,000 scholarships to Bay Area students.

The winners of the scholarships, announced Tuesday, are dancer Jessica Fry, from Menlo High School in Atherton; actor Gabriel Cowger, from Novato High School in Novato; and singer Rachel Wirtz, from Berean Christian High School in Walnut Creek.

The panel of celebrity judges included American Conservatory Theater’s Artistic Director Carey Perloff, singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman and San Francisco Symphony maestro Michael Tilson Thomas.

QUICK TAKES

Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce, told Vanity Fair in new interview excerpts published Tuesday that she chose her new name after hearing it during a Miss America pageant. The runners-up were Heather and Cathy. … Singer-actor Jim Bailey, a “Tonight Show” regular during the Johnny Carson era who gained fame for his impersonations of Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee and other female stars, died Saturday at age 77.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actress-singer Lalaine (“Royal Kill”) is 28. … Journalist Anderson Cooper is 48. … Singer Suzi Quatro is 65. … Actress Penelope Wilton (“Downton Abbey”) is 69. … TV host Chuck Barris (“The Gong Show”) is 86.

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