Michelle Obama has invited rapper “Common” to the White House to read poetry. Conservative groups are displeased with the invitation and that is causing a predictable reaction from the left:
Even though it’s 2011, we’re still litigating whether rap music in and of itself is a societal corrosive or an artistic expression that channels raw experience and expurgates emotions in the form of a catharsis. It’s really the old Plato versus Aristotle rap battles over the artistic merits of tragedy — at least we can dance to it, so there’s that.
But the news today is that Michelle Obama is having some poets over to the White House to read some poetry, and that one of those poets is Chicago rapper Common, and OH MY GOD did you know he’s rapped about violence? It’s true, and the Daily Caller is beefing about it.
The principle argument centers around the imagery of violence and what seems to be a call for the death of George W. Bush:
“A Letter to the Law”
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
The truth is, that’s small potatoes. There’s much, more of this poet’s eloquence. And that’s before we get to his support of cop killers.
“Orange Pineaapple Juice”
Peep the maneuver, how bout the Heim-lich
I rhyme sick and you can get the duck, coon
I’m the shit, you’re shit out of luck, tough
I’m the act to follow, housing kids like Ronald
Mac like Donald Goines, flows I change like coins
Choyoyoyyoyoyyng, choyoyoyyyyng, choyoyoyoyyyyyng
I draw a crowd like blood with the ‘pint of’ technique
and everybody there be like, “YEAH!”
Cause cain’t near a nig dat’ll say ‘Whoomp, There It Is’
I’m like a mom on section 8, over-bearing kids
shit they be like, “Com-mon!” That’s my muhfucka true
Youse a hamburger, I’ma Fudrucker
askin me to lettuce ketchup, knowin you can’t cut the mustard
So where’s the beef, jerky?
I’m as Worthy as James, not that good with names
but I do remember your face from someplace this is one taste
of Chicago, we got mo’ many mo’ many mo’ many mo’ flavors
Don’t just come to me, go ask thy neighbor-I’m-a-hood takin niggaz under
on the tundra, cause “they’re plain, they’re plain” (Fantasy Island)
I’m on a plateau that is fat so
It’s just a fan-tasy, for the fans to see
how I land, I’m grand like a finale
I’m goin back to Cali (why?) cause Cali got bitches check it
Aiyyo Dart this is a sickness
“Real Nigga Quotes”
Real nigga quotes I tote, got some shit on the free but
This some shit that I wrote, legendary like The Goat
Who got game? Giving a quarter rest while I make these quarter notes
My album, niggaz was expectin, now my water broke
Before it, I was sorta broke
Get the paper for the funnies, sports and the horoscope
On a curry goat, like flu stokes order coke
You sharp with your rings and chain but you short a rope
At the end of the road trip still, I’ma hold shit down like syndrome
Rappers are like Fox Brown tryin to get home
Rarely get your touchdown, I’m in the end zone
You can’t honor what I’m on, then bitch nigga, get gone
>From the wind storm, I’ve been told the street folklore
Body language spoke raw, don’t talk to broads that are spoke for
That provokes war, stand out like cold sores
You claim that you hard but you wholecore
George Bush and CIA, you movin old or
I Wright like Richard for publishing while you sold yours
I use to love H.E.R.
I might’ve failed to mention that this chick was creative
But once the man got you well he altered her native
Told her if she got an image and a gimmick
that she could make money, and she did it like a dummy
Now I see her in commercials, she’s universal
She used to only swing it with the inner-city circle
Now she be in the burbs lickin rock and dressin hip
And on some dumb shit, when she comes to the city
Talkin about poppin glocks servin rocks and hittin switches
Now she’s a gangsta rollin with gangsta bitches
Always smokin blunts and gettin drunk
Tellin me sad stories, now she only fucks with the funk
Stressin how hardcore and real she is
She was really the realest, before she got into showbiz
I did her, not just to say that I did it
But I’m committed, but so many niggaz hit it
That she’s just not the same lettin all these groupies do her
I see niggaz slammin her, and takin her to the sewer
But I’ma take her back hopin that the shit stop
Cause who I’m talkin bout y’all is hip-hop
It’s positively Whitmanesque. I have a couple of questions:
Does Michelle Obama allow her girls to sing these lyrics? Is this “poetry” on the kids’ i-Pods?
This is the “poetry” I want to see read to the kids at White House.
And it also happens that “Common” wrote a song in support of a convicted cop killer.
Rap artist “Common” performs at a poetry evening at the White House to celebrate the American arts, music and song.
He was invited by the First Lady and President Obama who hosted the event. His appearance has created controversy.
Conservatives say his lyrics celebrate violence. New Jersey state troopers are really angry.
In one of his rap songs the lyrics question the conviction of a woman who was jailed for killing a New Jersey state trooper.
Black Panther Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard was convicted for the 1973-slaying of Trooper Werner Forester on the New Jersey Turnpike.
She escaped from a New Jersey prison and now is hiding in Cuba.
It seems that Common has named his daughter after the cop killer
Omoye Assata Lynn is the only child of the rapper and former girlfriend Kim Jones. Her birth coincided with the release of Common’s third album, “One Day It’ll All Make Sense.”
Common has also written a song in support of Mumia Abu Jamal
As the controversy flared online, conservative outlets reported that Common has voiced support for cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. In his rap, “God Is Freedom,” he declared that “flyers say ‘free Mumia’ on my freezer.” Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner.
It is noted with dismay:
In an unfortunate coincidence, Common’s appearance at the White House event coincides with National Police Week.