Video: Common & Maya Angelou Clear Up N-Word Controversy
Com-watchers will have noted an item in Sunday’s NY Post, which reported on Dr. Maya Angelou‘s surprise to hear her poetic son and sometime collaborator Common employing the nuclear option AKA the n-bomb on his track “The Dreamer”–for which she recorded a poem of her own, being credited as one of the few features on Com’s new LP The Dreamer, The Believer. Dr. Angelou’s full quote read as follows:
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.
The Post article gave not-quite-equal time to Common’s defense of his word-choice and ended it’s coverage on a skeptical note, stating: “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,” before rehearsing Fox News’ objections to particular Common lyrics (about former President Bush and a supposedly ‘anti-police’ couplet) raised at the time of his White House appearance earlier this year.
However, Dr. Angelou called in to BET’s 106 & Park yesterday during Common’s appearance on the show to clarify the disagreement (watch above). She began by saying “I know that Common is brilliant. He may in fact be close enough to be called a genius. I’m not sure.” Although she described Common as “in process” and said hopefully “next week he might not use the n-word” she also spelled out her unequivocal support for him this way:
There was a statement made by Machiavelli in the 15th century. He said: If you want to control the people, separate them and you can rule them. Divide them and you can conquer them. I will not be divided from Common.