EXCLUSIVE: Scrilla King Talks Ex-Friend Chet Hanks Using The N-Word, His Issues With TMZ, & Hip Hop Standing Up

Tom Hanks found his name in numerous news headlines this week. The nearly endless coverage was not to promote a new movie from the Academy Award winning actor. The Hanks name became a trending topic because family scion Chester “Chet Haze” Hanks uploaded posts to his Instagram declaring he will not stop using the n-word.

“If I say the word n*gga, I say it among people I love and who love me,” wrote Chet in one IG caption. The aspiring rapper received immediate backlash including criticism from former friend Scrilla King.

Scrilla – a self-described Tom Hanks fan – began working with Chet on music several years ago, but the two performers are currently estranged. The falling out was magnified after the recent n-word controversy caught fire.

While Scrilla continues to build his career (which already includes over 2 million hits on YouTube), the Fort Wayne, Indiana native took time to address his ex-pal’s social media announcement. AllHipHop.com spoke with the “My Time” rhymer about his history with Chester Hanks, his concerns with a recent TMZ interview, and if it is ever appropriate for White people to use the n-word.

[ALSO READ: Tom Hanks’ Son Says He Will Keep Using The N-Word (VIDEO)]

How did you first meet Chet?

We met about 4 or 5 years back in Hollywood through a mutual friend. It didn’t start on a music tip at first. We were homeboys. We hit it off over a nice dinner, and we kept working together. He has a good work ethic. He’s a strong-minded guy.

At the same time his entitlement is what led us to fall out. I felt like it was my duty to stand up and say something. Especially being Black and representing somebody that’s come up from nothing to amount to something. I just didn’t feel comfortable on what was said.

Did he ever use the word around you?

There was a time at a studio in Beverly Hills that he actually did say it. He said, “Hey, my n*gga.” But I didn’t draw attention to it at the moment. In my head, I thought about it.

You know one of those awkward situations where somebody says something and then everybody looks around. But you don’t feed into it, because you don’t want to make him feel awkward or damage the relationship. But at the same time, I’m thinking, “Did he just say that?”

So there has been a time he has said that to me, but he has never said it in a derogatory demeanor toward me. But I didn’t feel comfortable when he said it toward me the first time.

Chester "Chet" Hanks + Tom Hanks

Chester “Chet” Hanks + Tom Hanks

So the two of you never had a conversation about him using the word?

No, we just fell out. It started with him saying that. Then we had a conversation after that where he was talking himself up. I don’t know if it was the cocaine he was doing, but he started changing. I watched him change. He has called me a n*gga before, but the reason we fell out wasn’t necessarily because he called me a n*gga. That was just one of the reasons.

I just wanted to personally let the community and him know that I didn’t feel comfortable with what he said. Not only to me, but online with him saying, “I can say whatever I want.” That was the problem I had – his entitlement.

Because of him being Tom Hanks’ son, he felt he could say whatever the hell he wanted. He thought he could be some big monster thug, and nobody is going to say, “We know you’re Tom Hanks’ son. We know you didn’t come up from the bottom.”

That sense of entitlement that he had was why we fell out. I’m not okay with it. I know other people in Hip Hop aren’t okay with it. Not only me, but other people in the Hip Hop community need to stand up and say, “This ain’t right. I don’t care if you’re Tom Hanks’ son. You can’t say certain things.”

Especially this word being a word that has been put on us as Black people since slavery. [You think because of] the supremacy of the person you are and the position that you hold, you’re able to say that. No, that ain’t cool.

Did you actually see him do cocaine?

No, I never saw him doing cocaine. He told me he’s done it. He’s told me he was in rehab for two weeks. I was one of the few people who knew. I kept my mouth shut. Then word got out that he was in rehab for cocaine. I was trying to be one of the people to uplift him, to be positive. But in his brain, after he took one hit of the coke, he thought he was a thug.

From your experiences with him, do you feel like he is a racist?

I don’t feel that he’s racist. I don’t know if he’s doing it for publicity. I don’t know if he’s doing it because his parents don’t show him enough attention and love. I do know that his way of doing it is not a good way.

If we were Tom Hanks’ son, would we be throwing around the word n*gga? It don’t take common sense for us to say no. If I was Tom Hanks’ son I wouldn’t even play with the word, just from knowing my position and knowing my color.

He graduated nearly top of his class at Northwestern, but then wants to say, “I’m a thug.” What do you mean? Your parents paid for your entire college. How thuggish can you be?

You did an interview with TMZ, and you mentioned you had an issue with the way they ran the article. What was your problem with the way that story was written?

My problem with how that story was written is that they made it seem as if I was out to get Chet, as if I had something to gain in the truth. Personally, I wanted the Hip Hop community to stand up with me and say, “This isn’t okay.” I didn’t want to be the first outcast.

I felt like with TMZ, they didn’t make me out to be the enemy. But they didn’t make me out to be the good guy. It wasn’t like I was trying to come up off Chet’s publicity. I was just literally stating I did not feel good about him saying the word to me in person. I didn’t feel good at all hearing what he said on Instagram.

If you know that slave owners used to call Black people n*gger, because it was a form of disrespect – not endearment – you shouldn’t be saying it. I felt the way TMZ pushed [the article] was like they wanted me to look like I was trying to come up off bro.

I don’t need to come up off him. I was doing music before I even met bro. For me, I felt like he disrespected the Hip Hop community. If we let this dude say this now, imagine what they’ll be saying to us in the future.

This conversation has been happening in the Hip Hop community for a long time. Other White rappers have used the word. White Girl Mob member V-Nasty said it a few years back. Recently, Cash Money’s Caskey said he didn’t see a problem with White people using it.

There have even been African-American rappers [Trinidad James, Rich Homie Quan, Schoolboy Q] who’ve said they don’t have a problem with their fans using that word. For you, is it an issue with White people in general using it?

In the artistic form of expression, I don’t see that big of a problem with it. Outside of the artistic form – in conversation – it’s a problem. Where do you draw the line? If you’re sitting with your buddy, and you’re rapping lyrics. Then he busts out, “Yeah n*gga.” Everybody’s going to stop and say, “What did he say?”

Or if it’s playing in a song, and homie is trying to express what his homies were doing way back and he’s using the word as a form of expressing himself with his people, I get it.

But as far as being in [Chet’s] position knowing that it would cause some outrage, knowing we’re in a time in the world right now where there are crazy things going on, and knowing Black people are already looked down on, I don’t feel it’s okay. Going on Instagram and making a big deal about it, I don’t think it’s okay.

He already knew he was wrong. That’s why he made that video. If he didn’t think he was wrong, he wouldn’t have said anything. A person who’s innocent doesn’t try to defend himself. A person who’s innocent keeps his mouth shut, and says, “I don’t have anything to worry about, because I know my ‘n*ggas’ got me.”

I can guarantee if that dude was around anybody else, and he busts out with that word, actions are going to be started. If he’s doing it in a way where he doesn’t mean any harm and he’s not trying to gain any buzz off of it, I feel it’s okay.

Do you think you will ever be able to reconcile and fix your friendship?

Personally, I do not have a problem with Chet. Some words have been exchanged between me and him since the TMZ interview, but I don’t have nothing against Chet. Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors. But that man Chet Hanks needs to get his life together.

[ALSO READ: Dear Tom Hanks: Tell Your Son Chet To Stop Using The N-Word!]

Scrilla King is preparing to release his next single “Favor” in the coming days. The Los Angeles based artist plans to release his full length album this fall.

Follow Scrilla King on Twitter @ScrillaXKing and Instagram @ScrillaXKing.