All Articles Tagged "common maya angelou"
Maya Angelou, internationally renowned poet and pioneer of the Black Arts Movement voiced her displeasure with rapper Common and his use of her poetry on his new song “The Dreamer” to the New York Post.
“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.”
In an attempt to resolve the issue Common responded explaining that he and Angelou have agreed to disagree on the n word,
“She knows I do use the word,” he told The Post. “She knows that’s part of me.”
But he admitted he never told 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.”
I’m eerily reminded of the scene in Menace II Society where the detective says to Cain “you know you done effed up right, you know that don’t you.” I’m a huge supporter of Common and I love his music but I can’t wrap my head around the Chi town poet rapping about “exquisite thick Beyotches and rolling through the airport with more la than a opera” alongside a heart felt poem by Angelou talking about slaves standing naked on auction blocks. The two simply don’t go together, not to mention we’re talking about Ms. Phenomenal Woman herself. Just seems like a poor choice to me, maybe the poem should have been an interlude of it’s own so no one would think that Angelou was endorsing the use of the n-word and derogatory references to women which we all know she abhors.
However, Maya Angelou’s camp should be held accountable too as they are the protectors of her legacy. If one of the people on her team had listened to a Common album they would know that although Common is referred to as a “conscious” rapper he has some controversial lyrics as well so its plausible that their work together could end up on such a track. Overall Common wants young people to reach their dreams and spread positive messages to the youth so I’m sure there was no malice. It sounds like poor judgment on both sides.