With all the hype finally dying down over Common‘s invitation to perform at The White House event earlier this month, SOHH hit up Louder Than A Bomb poetry film co-director Gregory Jacobs for his take on the Fox News anxiety.
Vouching for Common, Jacobs said he could not comprehend Fox’s issues with the rapper’s persona.
“My first reaction, I think, with the real controversy should have been, why was Nate Marshall from my movie [Louder Than A Bomb] not invited [to The White House poetry event], [laughs],” Jacobs told SOHH referring to one of the features in his Louder Than A Bomb poetry documentary. “It was sort of amazing to me because this stuff keeps coming up over and over again and it just seem so tiring, these kinds of attacks. I sort of feel like maybe they didn’t do [their] homework, but you’re going to pick on Common? How absurd. I mean, it’s ridiculous. [Comedy Central’s] ‘Daily Show’ did this thing which showed, OK, here’s a guy who was with Elmo on ‘Sesame Street’ and did Gap ads, starred with Queen Latifah. It’s just a ridiculous target and I think it’s one of those things that they tried to build it up to something and it just died. People kind of just looked and said, ‘Really? Common?'” (SOHH)
Jacobs also took things a step further and analyzed the role age plays in these common disputes.
“And I also think there seems to be a generational disconnection,” Jacobs added. “[Fox News] made a big deal out of it and made it into some controversy when the administration did their first poetry slam at The White House. The thing that we saw with the kids we followed in the [Louder Than A Bomb] film, there’s no kind of poetry slam. Slam is just something that is. It’s in the air, it’s the air they breathe. It’s not anything new, or unusual or unique. It just is. It’s like making a big deal out of hip-hop now. It just is. So why every time the administration does something like this, why do people try to make controversy? I think it just becomes increasingly absurd.” (SOHH)
Last week, rap veteran Nas took a similar position, deeming Fox News as an organization filled with senior citizens.
“The people who feel like Common shouldn’t be performing are really old in their thinking,” Nas said. “It’s like your grandparents have a microphone, and not even smart grandparents — just ignorant grandparents…It scares the h*ll out of them. They feel like an endangered species in their way of thinking. People that are not open to change are just miserable.” (MTV)
Along with Common, Fox News slammed First Lady Michelle Obama for inviting the rapper.
First Lady Michelle Obama has scheduled a poetry evening for Wednesday, and she’s invited several poets, including a successful Chicago poet and rapper, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., AKA “Common.” However, Lynn is quite controversial, in part because his poetry includes threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the “burn[ing]” of then-President George W. Bush. (Fox News)
Check out a portion of the “Common” debate below: