Common's highly anticipated ninth studio album, The Dreamer, The Believer, makes the 2011 cut after wavering on a release date. If you need some convincing, the opening track here features Maya Angelou (listen above), and the legendary poet is none too pleased with Common's word choice. According to the New York Post: The song "The Dreamer," off the album "The Dreamer, The Believer," features a poem that Angelou penned and recited at the rapper's request. It urges people to follow their dreams, with such lines as "From Africa they lay in the bilge of slave ships / And stood half naked on auction blocks /. . . and still they dreamed." Common's lyrics, however, include such lines as "Told my n---a [Kanye West] I'm 'bout to win the Grammys now" and the boast "N---as with no heart, I'm the pacemaker." The Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet was petrified when she heard the lyrics. "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 said.
Molly Smith Metzler's play about a book editor on a big deadline, and surrounded by annoyances, is fittingly helmed by David Hyde Pierce. The annoyances include Michael Chernus as an assistant camping out in his office, Rosie Perez as the high-maintenance author and Colby Minifie as the daughter who berates him in Russian. "Close Up Space" opens Dec. 19 at the Manhattan Theatre Club at New York City Center.
How will it compare to the book? And the Swedish version? And other Fincher films? And every film?? Find out on Wednesday.
If you're still in the throes of holiday shopping, Woody Allen's lighthearted time-traveling comedy can charm the parents and young'uns alike. "Midnight in Paris" is out on DVD Tuesday.
Angelina Jolie's directorial debut is set during the Bosnian War and tells the story of Danijel and Ajla, two former lovers on opposite sides of the conflict -- Ajla is now a prisoner in the camp he supervises. The film attracted some controversy when Jolie had her film permit pulled, but now it looks like it's all paid off -- with a Golden Globe nomination and a flood of praise coming her way, will Jolie be our next Clooney? "In The Land of Blood and Honey" is out Dec. 23.
Culture Forecast: Dec. 18 - Dec. 24