Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:52 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 5 Comments
There is no denying that 2011 is Common’s year. He starred in the romantic-comedy “Just Wright” alongside Queen Latifah, he was asked by the FLOTUS to perform poetry at the White House, he penned his own autobiography One Day it Will Make Sense, he is also currently starring in the AMC show “Hell on Wheels,” and now he is rounding out the year with a critically acclaimed album “The Dreamer, The Believer.”
With all these accolades Common has also had his image called into question this year as well as overall in his career. FOX news had a meltdown at the fact that Common was at the White House reciting poetry. Sean Hannity acted as if Common being at the White House was akin to Ice-T or Guccie Mane being there. To further debase Common, Hannity used a line from a poem Common recited on Def Poetry Jam back in 2007 completely taking it out of context to assert the notion that Common was some type of anarchist:
Burn a Bush cos’ for peace he no push no button, killing over oil and grease, no weapons of mass destruction, how can we follow a leader when this is a corrupt one?
FOX news wanted to vilify and make Common into the angry black-gun-totting-radical rapper who wanted to kill the then President of the United States which was George W. Bush. That is simply not the lane that Common travels in. Earlier this week Common’s credibility was also called into question by the most unlikeliest person, Maya Angelou. Angelou appears on Common’s latest album on the song, “The Dreamer” according to the New York Post she was reported as saying that she did not know that Common was going to use the n-word in the song that she lent her poetry to. Common of course retorted and said although he never told Angelou directly that he would use the n-word in that particular song, but that she knew he used the n-word in his music. Semantics. Here in lies my issue with Common.
For some odd reason many hip-hop lovers and those who tolerate hip-hop tend to bestow Common with some amorphous title that he is some “conscious-righteous” rapper. Those are great buzz words that mean nothing when they’re juxtaposed next to Common’s body of work. Long before he was telling women to “get up on this conscious dick” on Kid Cudi’s song, “Poke her Face” he was never the safe woman friendly alternative that everyone wanted him to be.
In the song, “A film called pimp” from his album “Like Water for Chocolate” his 2000 LP, Common is a pimp trying to convince a young woman MC Lyte that she needs to be a part of his “stable.”
Thick lips, blond wig, nice tits, ass the size that I dig /Asked her the name/ one way to approach her /See she had game/she needed me to coach her/ Expose her to some paper/freedom and culture /The way a righteous pimp is supposed to
A pimp’s sole job is to negotiate a woman’s agency away and make her believe that her body is a commodity that has street value and that even though she is the one who sleeps with the johns, her pimp deserves to have all of her money. What is righteous about that? There nothing honorable about a pimp that the art of pimping needs to be glorified on wax. On that very same album Common closes it out with “A song for Assata” which is dedicated to the exiled revolutionary Assata Shakur.On his album “Be” Common’s struggle with his dual self also comes to light in the song “Go” Common talks about having unprotected sex in a bathroom with a woman who has a body of a dancer. Promoting unprotected sex ain’t righteous.
She was a bad (uh), the type at the club niggaz would grab her/ Fantasized when I had her, in the bathroom sweatin’ with her ass up/The body of a dancer, we had chemistry cuz she was a Cancer/Thought forever it would last for, but forever move faster, so I had to/ Still I gotta pause when I think about her in dem draws/ And a ooh baby she liked it raw/and like rain when she came it poured
Then his most egregious act is having Maya Angelou on the song as I mentioned before, “The Dreamer” talking about “exquisite thick bitches,” it is safe to say I have made my point. Common is not the soft cuddly clean rapper that everyone thinks he is.His persona is schizophrenic. He gladly accepts the title of “conscious rapper,” but continues to straddle the fence of foolishness. In hip-hop its not hard to be labeled the “good guy” because all you have to do is not kill people on your records, slide credit cards down a vixen ass-crack in a music video, or not be pictured with a white styrofoam cup in your hand, and you are all of a sudden rated G. Calling Common a conscious rapper is a misnomer.
Grant it he is not Lil Wayne or Waka Flaka, but Common is no Dead Prez either. Common has not raised the bar of excellence. He is a dope lyricist yes, who has missed the mark on many of his albums. He is nice on the mic when he is focused, but I can’t allow 2012 to come around and for us to still be peddling this falsehood. He is not as bad as the other guys, but in all honesty what is that really saying?
-Picture from hiphopwired.com
Categories: Mind Over Chatter