Despite controversy surrounding his views on the Duke University Lacrosse scandal, rapper Common is still slated to headline the school's Last Day of Classes concert on April 25.
"We obviously do not condone or endorse anything he said at the time, but we did book him and sign a contract that is legally binding on the basis of his talent and student appeal," LDOC (Last Day of Class) chair Beth Higgins told the Duke Chronicle after confirming Common's appearance Sunday (Feb. 18).
The verification is the latest chapter in the controversy, which stemmed from a freestyle Common performed during an April 19, 2006 concert at Emory University.
The Chicago lyricist voiced his opinion of the three lacrosse players accused up raping an exotic dancer as he rhymed "You know I never get lost, yo f- them damn n-s from Duke lacrosse," according to a video of the show.
Common's agent assured LDOC committee members that statements made in the past would not affect the rapper's performance, Higgins said.
"The agent said it would not be a problem with Common to play here," explained Higgins, who is working on getting a formal statement from the rapper's agent. "He made these statements two days after the lacrosse case went public...He's still a really great artist and willing to play at Duke."
Although the conflict appears to be resolved, the Chronicle reports that students are split on Common's arrival and whether or not he should address what he said.
"I'm pretty sure a lot of Duke students thought they were guilty at the time," Moses Lee said. "[But] he should definitely make some kind of statement to the student body."