Kane Brown is addressing Morgan Wallen’s use of a racist slur in February 2021 for the first time. In a new feature story in the New York Times, Brown offers his views on the incident, which subsequently added fuel to the fire of the issue of racial inequality in country music.

Brown, a Black country singer who knows Wallen on a personal level, says he reached out to his friend on the day that doorbell footage was released to condemn his use of the word.

"This is the first time I’ve ever even talked about this, but I personally know Morgan," Brown tells the Times. "I texted him that day. I told him he shouldn’t have said it, but also knowing Morgan, I knew that he didn’t mean it in the way that the world thought that he meant it."

Brown says he would have had another reaction had the slur been used in a "different context."

“I think if it was in a different context, I probably would have been fighting," he admits now.

Brown has worked his way to the top of country music ranks with major charting hits like "Heaven," "Homesick," "Like I Love Country Music" and others. The singer told People in 2018 that he didn't realize he was biracial until his elementary years, and he experienced his classmates calling him a racist slur in his youth.

"I learned what it meant, and that's when it started affecting me," he says. "I got in fights over it when I was little."

The video of Wallen using the "N word" was leaked by TMZ on February 2, 2021. Backlash was swift, and Wallen's music was dropped by multiple radio corporations and streaming sites. He was temporarily suspended from his recording contract with Big Loud Records, but still had the most successful album of the year with his Jan. 2021 project, Dangerous: The Double Album, which topped the U.S. Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts.

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