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Culture Forecast: Dec. 18 - Dec. 24

First Posted: 12/19/11 12:10 AM ET Updated: 12/19/11 01:11 PM ET

Common, 'The Dreamer, The Believer'
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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.


Filed by Gazelle Emami  |  Report Corrections