I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not. That a rapper is going to the White House? No, that’s been done. That since it is a black President – and a democrat – the right wing media is up in arms? Yeah, that’s what I’m referring to.
I wouldn’t go as far as Kyle Anderson ofÂ Music Mix, saying
Common is about the least controversial rapper in the business. Heâ€™s roughly as edgy asÂ LeVar Burton. Heâ€™s the rap version ofÂ Wayne Brady. Heâ€™s a friendly, easy-going, cross-cultural musician and actor who stars inÂ easygoing rom-coms with Queen Latifah,Â only appears menacing to Tina Fey and Steve Carrell on celluloid …
– um, that’s a little overdoing it, lol. I mean, Common is a positive dude, but he’s not soft. He did a dis record calling Gangsta Rapper Ice Cube a “Bitch”, remember? And he has some very controversial lyrics, mostly political. But that’s not inappropriate, for a poet or for an MC. Â That’s what they do – have and express controversial ideas and opinions. But what Kyle said describing Common as a “conscious MC” is more to the point:
Common is a smart guy who uses his music to talk about complicated ideas and the vagaries of modern life. Few rappers talk about personal relationships and social injustice as astutely as Common, and his deeply-considered work is the sort of stuff that should be inspiring young people (especially those interested in poetry).
And that’s what makes him relevant to a discussion of poetry. Plenty of Common’s Hip Hop song lyrics flow like poetry and then he actually has poems as well, on HBO’sÂ Russel Simmons presentsÂ Def Poetry, for instance. Whichever you are listening to, it is instantly clear that Common is a great communicator of ideas and expresser of passionate emotion, which perfectly describes the role of any artist. So, the fact that Michelle Obama wanted him to teach a poetry workshop to the youth (something else he has done before in his hometown Chicago) and perform some of his songs at the White House event, makes perfect sense.
Still, Hannity, Sara Palin,Â Karl Rove and others have all spoken out against the First Lady for inviting this “vile” rapper Common to the event. It’s really kind of laughable. I mean, read or listen to Hannity’s commentary, as published on FoxNews Website.
So, what is it they are claiming Common talks about in his raps?
1) murdering George W. Bush by settin him on fire,
2) carrying guns
3)Â killing cops
[* Watch some of Common’s videos, plus video footage of the White House performance and hear me call Sean Hannity and Sara Palin “a dumb ass” – after the jump!] (more…)