(AllHipHop News) Revered poet, author, and activist, Dr. Maya Angelou, didn’t mince words recently when commenting about the language and imagery on Common’s The Dreamer, The Believer. Despite having a guest appearance on the album, she told The New York Post recently that she was particularly bothered by his use of the “N-word.”
Dr. Angelou, whose writings from the past such as Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting Merry Like Christmas have included many racy topics, wanted to clarify her position on Common’s recent release on BET’s 106th & Park this week:
“I don’t think the word “disappointment” quite makes it. I was “surprised.” I know that Common is brilliant. He may, in fact, be close enough to be called a genius – I’m not sure. I know that we are all in process and young artists are in process. It’s important to realize that all of you – all of us – [are in process]. 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. By anybody’s imagination, he is brilliant and even genius, maybe. But certainly smarter than us to know that he’s in process. And next week, he might not even use the N-word[,] or the B-word. It may even take two or three weeks, or a month. But I’m not going to be separated from him…
[Watch the clip from BET’s 106th & Park HERE]
“Do your best to not be divided. This doesn’t mean you are supposed to support everything anybody says. Say “I disagree, but I don’t disagree to the point where I want you dead and out of here.” You must understand that, people, we live in direct relation to the heroes and sheroes we have. Always and in always if we don’t have heroes and sheroes and keep them alive, we are nothing.”
Check out this video from early 2012, where Dr. Angelou says that Common “could be her son.”
Common’s The Dreamer, The Believer is available on iTunes and in stores today (December 20).