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Maya Angelou + Common = Beef

By Harriet Staff

Maya Angelou, who collaborated with Common on the track “The Dreamer”, is upset that Common’s lyrics dropped N-bombs, which she won’t stand for. From this New York Post article:

The song “The Dreamer,” off the album “The Dreamer, The Believer,” features a poem that Angelou penned and recited at the rapper’s request. It urges people to follow their dreams, with such lines as “From Africa they lay in the bilge of slave ships / And stood half naked on auction blocks /. . . and still they dreamed.”

Common’s lyrics, however, include such lines 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 Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet was petrified when she heard the lyrics.

“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.”

Common tried to squash the squabble, insisting that he’s spoken with Angelou about his use of the “N” word — and claiming they have agreed to disagree.


Posted in Poetry News on Monday, December 19th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.