Maya Angelou Upset With Common’s Use Of N-Word On Collaboration

By Nadeska Alexis

Common enlisted a feature from Maya Angelou on his latest album The Dreamer/The Believer, but now the legendary poet seems to be regretting her decision. Angelou performs an original poem on one of the album’s title tracks “The Dreamer,” but after hearing the completed version, the activist is irate that it included the ‘N’ word. “I had no idea that Common was using the piece we had done together on [a track] in which he also used the ‘N’ word numerous times,” Angelou told the NY Post.

“I’m surprised and disappointed. I don’t know why he chose to do that. I had never heard him use that [word] before. I admired him so because he wasn’t singing the line of least resistance,” she continued.

Common said Angelo had already known that the word was used in his music—“She knows I do use the word. She knows that’s part of me”— but according to the Post, he admitted that she was unaware of its use in this instance.

Angelou further described the use of the term as “vulgar and dangerous,” but Common tried to make it clear that his album was intended to be an uplifting narrative. “I told her what ‘The Dreamer’ was about and what I wanted to get across to people,” he said. “I wanted young people to hear this and feel like they could really accomplish their dreams.”

Common and Angelou have been friends for several years, after meeting at a benefit where they both shared poetry. His ninth studio album The Dreamer/The Believer is out on December 20.

(Photo via Zimbio)