Politics

Common Puts Michelle Obama in Hot Water Over Celebration of Poetry Invite (Poll)

Tue., May. 10, 2011 10:47 AM EDT
by admin

Michelle Obama is currently under fire for inviting rapper-actor Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., to the White House to take part in a celebration of American poetry scheduled for Wednesday, May 11.

So what’s wrong with that?

Well, here’s the rub: Common’s lyrics in the past — in an effort to vocalize the struggles of the black man — have included gun advocacy, threats of violence against law enforcement, and torching then-President George W. Bush.

Common has been hailed by African Americans as a “conscious” rapper, because he builds up black people in his lyrics, but what may be considered consciousness to us may be violent and divisive rhetoric to others. 

Here are lyrics (transcribed from the attached video) that he wrote in 2007:

A Letter to the Law

Dem boy wanna talk…

Whatcha gon do if ya got one gun?

I sing a song for the hero unsung

with faces on the mural of the revolution

No looking back cos’ in back is what’s done

Tell the preacher, god got more than one son

Tell the law, my Uzi weighs a ton

I walk like a warrior,

from them I won’t run

On the streets, they try to beat us like a drum

In Cincinnati, another brother hung

A guinea won’t see the sun

with his family stung

They want us to hold justice

but you handed me none

The same they did to Kobe and Michael Jackson

make them the main attraction

Turn around and attack them

Black gem in the rough

You’re rugged enough

Use your mind and nine-power, get the government touch

Them boys chat-chat on how him pop gun

I got the black strap to make the cops run

They watching me, I’m watching them

Them d— boys got a lock of c— in them

My people on the block got a lot of pok* in them

and when we roll together

we be rocking them to sleep

No time for that, because there’s things to be done

Stay true to what I do so the youth dream come

from project building

Seeing a fiend being hung

With that happening, why they messing with Saddam?

Burn a Bush cos’ for peace he no push no button

Killing over oil and grease

no weapons of destruction

How can we follow a leader when this a corrupt one

The government’s a g-unit and they might buck young black people

Black people In the urban area one

I hold up a peace sign, but I carry a gun.

Peace, y’all.”

Common will perform with Elizabeth Alexander, Aimee Mann, Jill Scott, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Bill Collins and Rita Dove. Should he be allowed to participate in view of his controversial “poetry?”  Answer by taking the poll.

[polldaddy poll=5033825]

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  • Ekm360

    Article written in 1991-

    Sinéad O’Connor and George Bush may not quite be political allies, but they do seem to be on the same side of one hot issue: N.W.A. (Niggas With Attitude), the controversial L.A. rappers who made headlines with their song ”F— Tha Police.” O’Connor, an ardent hip-hop fan, was scheduled to make a cameo appearance on the band’s forthcoming album, Niggaz 4 Life, but conflicting work schedules got in the way. Meanwhile, the band’s entrepreneurial leader, Eazy-E (above, a.k.a. Eric Wright, 23), jetted off to D.C. for — of all things — a ”Salute to the Commander in Chief” luncheon in Washington on March 18. The National Republican Senatorial Committee sponsored the fete, which featured a speech by President Bush and drew 1,400 Republicans. Wright wore a black leather suit to the event. Why was the rapper and self-proclaimed former drug dealer invited? Apparently his donations to various L.A. charities earned him an invitation to join the fund-raising Republican Senatorial Inner Circle. And Wright’s spokesman says the rapper ”really loves the President. He thinks he’s a great humanitarian and that he did a great job with Desert Storm.” Senators Phil Gramm (R-Texas) and Robert Dole (R-Kansas), who’d asked Wright to attend the banquet, had no comment.

  • Abc

    Bill O’Reilly much?

  • http://www.facebook.com/SulaimanTheWordSmith Sulaiman-The WordSmith

    Go Common. You can’t please every one. Besides white folks got alot to appologise for before they have room to complain.

  • Anonymous

    Should come as no surprise to anyone given the relationships they have had in the past. I wonder if someone white who wrote the same type lyrics on Obama would be invited and receive the same comments from those on this site and the news media. Why do I not think so and the word racist would come up? Hypocrites?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000152185744 Anonymous

    If he was invited to the White House for Christmas why not for the this. 91 PSALM

  • Vandellish

    This whole ‘controversy’ about Common was stoked by Fox and only picked up by other news media because it is somewhat of a story.

    You ask why Fox is so bent on driving this story???

    The reason is because they are trying to tamper down their coverage of the ‘capture’ of Osama Bin Laden. The news of Bin Laden’s capture has spiked Barack Obama’s rating and Fox simply can’t have that because it would go against their ultra-conservative (racist) agenda. So they have to find stories that poke holes in this administration in any way they can while also keeping stories that support him off the air. It’s a win-win for Fox and their followers.

    I say this KNOWING that Bin Laden’s likely been dead for years and I’m not at all a fan of the Republicrat President Obama. I just know how Fox works.

  • Vandellish

    This whole ‘controversy’ about Common was stoked by Fox and only picked up by other news media because it is somewhat of a story.

    You ask why Fox is so bent on driving this story???

    The reason is because they are trying to tamper down their coverage of the ‘capture’ of Osama Bin Laden. The news of Bin Laden’s capture has spiked Barack Obama’s rating and Fox simply can’t have that because it would go against their ultra-conservative (racist) agenda. So they have to find stories that poke holes in this administration in any way they can while also keeping stories that support him off the air. It’s a win-win for Fox and their followers.

    I say this KNOWING that Bin Laden’s likely been dead for years and I’m not at all a fan of the Republicrat President Obama. I just know how Fox works.