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Courtney Love’s Got ’99 Problems’ and the N-Word Is Regrettably One

Courtney Love

“It’s so genius, it either sucks or it’s genius,” Courtney Love said onstage in Park City, Utah, during the recent Sundance Film Festival, before launching into a cover of Jay-Z’s hip-hop landmark “99 Problems.”

After the second inauguration of the nation’s first African-American president, after Django Unchained, what the national dialogue on race probably didn’t need was the frontwoman from Hole casually throwing around “the N-word.” And the video quality is, to say the least, spotty. But Love makes the song sound like her own, and she transforms its meaning when she changes the lyric to “but being a bitch ain’t one.” (Which, why aren’t we upset about Jay’s use of “the B-word,” right? But that’s exactly the kind of infuriating-for-all-sides debate we’re hesitant to get into right now!)

As BuzzFeed reports, Love revealed last month in the comments section of a Facebook page that she will no longer be using the name Hole; instead, she’s writing, recording, and performing as a solo artist. In fact, she appears under her own name on Johnny Depp’s star-studded album of pirate songs, Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys. Hole originally broke up in 2002 after being active as a band from 1989 to 2000. Love put out a solo album, America’s Sweetheart, in 2004 before eventually reviving the Hole name in 2009 — without her former bandmates — and releasing 2010’s Nobody’s Daughter. (Hole’s classic lineup reunited for a one-off gig in 2011.)

Love has also been busy addressing her late husband Kurt Cobain’s legacy. She reportedly said she was “not amused” by Paul McCartney’s collaboration with the surviving members of Nirvana. And she shot down talk of a musical based on Nirvana’s songbook. Presumably she has about 97 other problems.