One of the most highly-touted collaborations on Common’s The Dreamer, The Believer is “The Dreamer,” which features a poem written and recited by Maya Angelou.
On the same song, Commons lyrics include use of the N-word: “Told my nigga [Kanye West] I’m ’bout to win the Grammys now” and “Niggas with no heart, I’m the pacemaker.”
Though Common’s use of the controversial word is well-known to the Hip Hop community, Angelou claims she never knew Common used it. Now, she voicing her displeasure.
“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,” she said, according to the New York Post.
Angelou called the word “vulgar and dangerous” to the black community.
“I’m surprised and disappointed,” she continued. “I don’t know why he chose to do that. I had never heard him use that [word] before. I admired him so because he wasn’t singing the line of least resistance.”
Common, however, says that he’s spoken with Angelou about his use of the word, saying that they agreed to disagree.
“She knows I do use the word,” he explained. “She knows that’s part of me.”
“I told her what ‘The Dreamer’ was about and what I wanted to get across to people,” he added, while admitting he didn’t specifically tell Angelou that the song would feature the word. “I wanted young people to hear this and feel like they could really accomplish their dreams.”