After causing a ruckus a couple weeks ago for inviting Chicago rapper Common to a poetry event held at The White House, First Lady Michelle Obama has finally come forward to address the aftermath.
During a discussion with students from Oxford University, Mrs. Obama said her decision was based on an interest to feature a variety of different poets at the event.
“We had a poetry session and we invited young kids in just last week from all over the country” Mrs. Obama explained. “And they talked to some of the most outstanding poets, and they read their poetry in the state room. And then we had a poetry night and Common was there. He’s very cute. But everybody from poet laureates to hip-hop folks, being able to mix up the world in that very interesting way, The White House allows you to do that.” (RapFix)
Louder Than A Bomb poetry film co-director Gregory Jacobs recently hit up SOHH and offered his take on the post-invitation outbursts.
“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)
Last week, rap veteran Nas also spoke out, deeming news outlet 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 the First Lady 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 the ‘Common’ debate down below: