Sitting down recently with Hard Knock TV, the Chicago native talked about meeting Angelou and some of his fondest memories of her.
“Man it was like one of those things where I was doing an event, a benefit and they had a poet that was supposed to be a part of the benefit and the poet cancelled at the last minute,” Common recalled when asked about Maya Angelou’s legacy. “My mother was like, ‘Why don’t we try to get Maya Angelou?’ And I was like, ‘What? You crazy. Get Maya Angelou what are you talking about?’ Somebody from the team got in touch with Maya Angelou’s people. Maya Angelou didn’t really know who Common was I don’t think. Maybe her grandson eventually said, ‘Look, Common is there.’ I went and met with her and it was like we just connected and she could feel I was sincere about what I do and putting positive vibrations out there. I got to know her very well.”
Common continued about Maya and remembered the time she told him about the time she met Tupac. It was a rough start for that relationship as she attempted to teach him a lesson on how he carried himself.
“We talked about Tupac,” Common said. “She always told this story about how it was this guy on the movie set she was doing called Poetic Justice and she heard all this cussing and stuff and it’s wild like craziness and she went and pulled the man aside and it was Tupac, saying like, ‘Hey, young man you shouldn’t be speaking like that’ and he calmed down and respected her so she had a relationship with Tupac from working on the film and we talked about how powerful he was and just how influential he was… Talking to her just connected the dots about how the movement of people would be if we unified… I learned a lot from her, she did my foundation event, I would go down to her birthday parties and I got to say it is a tough loss but her spirit will always be here with us, her words will always live.”
Finally, Common touched on his rumored collaborative album with Nas and said they haven’t “moved” on the project. He explained that he doesn’t “think it’ll happen anytime soon” but would really love to do it in the future.
Maya Angelou passed away in late May with no cause of death immediately determined.
Watch the interview segment below: