Like any outspoken figure in the hip-hop community, rapper Common has learned to take criticism with a grain of salt. And after being slammed by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and members of the Fox News A-Team for his Michelle Obama coordinated appearance at the White House in May, Common is now addressing the political controversy.
During a recent visit to “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, Common, who was invited by the first lady to perform at a White House poetry event, addressed his naysayers accusations that he was a “gangster” rapper with Stewart, who defended the rapper at the height of the controversy.
“At first, I thought it was humorous … Then I realized they just didn’t know me, because if they had, they wouldn’t come out and say that I rap about killing cops,” Common said. “Anyone that knows me, knows I put out music about love. I put out music about social consciousness, community, God, having fun.”
According to Common, the controversy even followed him to the set of his new AMC show, “Hell on Wheels,” where, over the summer, his coworkers spoke with him about the rumors of his lyrics and his “friendship” with Assata Shakur.
“Some of my team members told me, ‘Fox News and Sarah Palin said this and that about you, that you were this type of artist,’” he said. “That’s when I was like, ‘Really? You sure?’ Sarah Palin must have never have heard any of Common’s music.”
Perhaps, Palin and others unfamiliar with the emcees self-reflective and socially conscious lyrics will get a better informed idea of Common and his character when his new album, The Dreamer, The Believer, hits stores later this year. – nicholas robinson