Maya Angelou Furious at Common's N-Word Usage
When rappers are close to releasing their albums, a little controversy can't hurt. But I'm sure this is the type of controversy Common was trying to avoid.
In one of the strangest hip-hop beefs of all time, legendary poet Maya Angelou has lashed out at the rapper for his use of the n-word in a song she's featured in on his new album.
The word, which Angelou has said she "abhors" on numerous occasions, was used three times in the song "The Dreamer" -- once in each of the three verses. Angelou called the word "dangerous and vulgar" to the black community.
"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 told the New York Post. "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 the song, Angelou recites a poem urging people to follow their dreams. Common rhymes lyrics such 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."
The rapper responded to the controversy by saying that he and Angelou have always disagreed on the use of the word. He also admitted that he never told her he would use the word on the song. "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."
In the end, blame falls on both individuals. Common should have had more respect and informed Angelou about his use of the word in the song to see whether she still wanted to be on it. As for Angelou, she should never have put anything past a rapper -- even if it's someone as harmless on the surface and mainstream as Common.
Check out the song here.
Read more at the New York Post.