Poet extraordinaire Maya Angelou has a bone to pick with Common; she's upset he’s not the man she thought he was.
The former Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner appears as a featured guest on the rapper’s ninth album The Dreamer, The Believer. On the track, “The Dreamer,” Angelou delivers a piece in which she revisits the historical struggles of African-Americans while emphasizing, “still they dreamed.”
The beef apparently bubbled up after she heard the song and Common’s lyrics. Speaking with the New York Post, Angelou says, “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.”
She further explains, “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.”
Common is surprised his friend is so surprised. According to the paper, the pair met several years ago when they were invited to recite poetry at the same event. Since then, the Grammy award-winners have grown quite close in friendship.
In his defense, the new author says Angelou not only knows he uses the N-word, but that “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.” The album drops Dec. 20.
This is the rapper’s second poetry controversy as some Washington insiders were outraged when First Lady Michelle Obama invited him to The White House for an event. Those opposed weren’t too happy with some of his anti-police, anti-Bush lyrics. Common attended the May event anyway.
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