"I think there's a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they're a little too familiar," Cube said on "Real Time" Friday night. "It's a word that's been used against us. It's like a knife, man. You can use it as a weapon, or you can use it as a tool. It's been used as a weapon against us by white people, and we're not gonna let that happen again."
"That's our word now, and you can't have it back," he added.
Cube, who served as frontman for the hip-hop group N.W.A. ("N----s with Attitude") explained to Maher that the political comedian has been "buckin' up against that line a little bit," but Maher defended that the jokes he makes are always "against racists."
"Eh, sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker up here," Cube responded. "When I hear my homies say it, it don't feel like venom. When I hear a white person say it, it feels like that knife stabbing me, even if they don't mean it."
The legendary rapper did affirm his love for Maher's show despite the slur, but he said he wasn't about to pass up a "teachable moment."
"This, to me, is a political show. And I just think you have to not step on some of the political messages that you're saying with the jokes because some things just ain't funny because this is real what we're going through."
Maher fired back defensively, "I think the people watching right now are saying that point has been made."