Legendary poet Maya Angelou has recently come out to the New York Post expressing her disdain for rapper Common's upcoming album. She says she is both "surprised and disappointed" to discover that a track she appears on in The Dreamer, The Believer also features multiple uses of a racial epithet. I could've warned Ms. Angelou before she even agreed to participate — I mean, being disappointed by a Common album is not a new thing. It's actually pretty common. (You see what I did there?)
Angelou was enlisted by the rapper to perform an original poem on the album's title track, "The Dreamer." The two have been friends for quite some time after meeting at a benefit at which they both recited poetry, which led to Angelou agreeing to the collaboration. In her verses, she says: "Dare to let your dreams reach beyond you / Know that history holds more than it seems / We are here alive today because our ancestors dared to dream."
But, after hearing the final version of the song in which "he also used the 'N' word numerous times", Angelou is horrified. The legendary poet feels that the word is "vulgar and dangerous" to the black community; she is mystified as to why the rapper even chose to use the racial epithet. "I have never heard him use that [word] before," Angelou said, "I admired him so because he wasn't signing the line of least resistance."
Common has commented on the National Medal of Arts winner's concerns, claiming that Ms. Angelou "knows I do use the word." He also added that the album contains an uplifting narrative: "I told her what The Dreamer was about and what I wanted to get across to people. I wanted young people to hear this and feel like they could really accomplish their dreams."
Poor Common; he can't catch a break. First Bill O'Reilly and his conservative cronies condemned his participation in a White House poetry event and now Maya Angelou is beefing with him. Now Common knows why the criticized bird sings.