Grammy-winning rapper Common may have found himself in one of the most lopsided beefs hip-hop has ever seen as renowned poet Dr. Maya Angelou is regretting having done a song with him over the usage of “nigga.”
According to Angelou, she was unaware Common would drop N-bombs on their new “The Dreamer” collaboration.
The song “The Dreamer,” off the album “The Dreamer, The Believer,” features a poem that Angelou penned and recited at the rapper’s request. It urges people to follow their dreams. Common’s lyrics, however, include such lines as “Told my n—a [Kanye West] I’m ’bout to win the Grammys now” and the boast “N—as with no heart, I’m the pacemaker.” “I had no idea that Common was using the piece we had done together on [a track] in which he also used the ‘N’ word numerous times,” Angelou said. Angelou said she never knew Common used the “N” bomb at all, calling it “vulgar and dangerous” to the black community. “I’m surprised and disappointed. I don’t know why he chose to do that. I had never heard him use that [word] before. I admired him so because he wasn’t singing the line of least resistance.” (New York Post)
Common, however, claims the famous poet was aware of his music content.
“She knows I do use the word,” he told The Post. “She knows that’s part of me.” But he admitted he never bothered to tell her he’d be using the word on the track she worked on. “I told her what ‘The Dreamer’ was about and what I wanted to get across to people,” he says. “I wanted young people to hear this and feel like they could really accomplish their dreams.” Common’s dreams in the song include living in Miami with “exquisite thick b*tches.” Angelou and Common met several years ago when they recited poetry at the same benefit. Since then, the two have grown tight. He has rapped at her birthday bash, and she once said he could be her son. Common said the best lesson he has learned from Angelou is to “continue to be true to your voice.” (New York Post)
Earlier this year, Common was painted in a negative light after getting invited to a White House event by First Lady Michelle Obama.
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)
Angelou is most known for her accomplishments in African American culture.
A trailblazer in film and television, Dr. Angelou wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia. Her script, the first by an African American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She continues to appear on television and in films including the landmark television adaptation of Alex Haley‘s Roots (1977) and John Singleton‘s Poetic Justice (1993). In 1996, she directed her first feature film, Down in the Delta. In 2008, she composed poetry for and narrated the award-winning documentary The Black Candle, directed by M.K. Asante. (Maya Angelou)
Check out “The Dreamer” below: