Even if rapper Common ruffled Maya Angelouâ€™s feathers by mentioning the â€œN-wordâ€ on a new track he got her to read some of her poetry on, the 83-year-old author stressed during a telephone interview on BETâ€™s â€œ106 & Parkâ€ Monday that sheâ€™s not mad at him.
In fact, she supported her stance with the words of another famous writer: Machiavelli.
â€œHe said, if you want to control the people, separate them — you can rule them,â€ she said, paraphrasing. â€œI will not be divided from Common by anybodyâ€™s imagination.â€
Although the New York Post reported Sunday that she said she felt â€œsurprised and disappointedâ€ after hearing his song â€œThe Dreamer,â€ sheâ€™s apparently revised her opinion.
â€œI donâ€™t think the word â€˜disappointmentâ€™ quite makes it — I was surprised,â€ she said. â€œI know Common is brilliant. He may, in fact, be close enough to be called a genius.â€
When Common turned up on WQHT-FM during â€œThe Angie Martinez Showâ€ Monday, he maintained that while Angelouâ€™s never condoned his usage of the â€œN-word,â€ he still has her blessing.
â€œShe definitely doesnâ€™t like the â€˜N-word,â€™ but I expressed to her before that I used it so we were able to agree to disagree,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s a great thing, because she knows that sometimes, writers coming from different angles can separate good people, and itâ€™s like, no, that ainâ€™t happening. We ainâ€™t gonna let you separate us.â€
Commonâ€™s â€œThe Dreamer/The Believerâ€ album hit stores Tuesday.
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