Common, Maya Angelou Address N-Word Controversy On ’106 & Park’

By Nadeska Alexis

In a recent interview with the NY Post, Maya Angelou expressed that she was uncomfortable with Common’s use of the N-Word on his single “The Dreamer,” which she’s featured on, but the poet cleared up the issue on TV Monday night (December 19). The legendary poet phoned into “106 & Park” during Common’s appearance on the show, to clarify that the issue had not caused a rift between her and the Chicago rapper.

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

“I don’t think the word disappointment quite makes it, I was surprised,” Dr. Angelou began. “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.”

Angelou, who penned and recited an original poem for Common’s new album The Dreamer/The Believer, used a statement from Machiavelli to drive her point home. “There was a statement made by Machiavelli in the 15th century,” she explained. “He said if you want to control the people, separate them, and you can rule them, divide them and you conquer them. I will not be divided from Common by anybody’s machinations.”

“He is brilliant, he’s a genius maybe but he’s certainly smart enough to know that he’s in process,” she continued. “And next week he might not use the N-word or the B-word. It maybe even take two, or three weeks or a month but I’m not going to be separated from him.”

By the end of the phone call it was clear that the two had already spoken and resolved any potential issues. Common’s ninth studio album The Dreamer/The Believer is out today.