Turns out we were wrong. For all these years, we considered Chicago rapper/romantic comedy star Common just a hair more hardcore than Jamiroquai. We thought of him as a somewhat conscious MC boasting a warm baritone, some strong tracks, and the allegiance of white guys who work at pizza places. We always kind of wished he were a little more interesting.
But ever since Common got invited to read poems at the White House, we've learned -- from conservative talk radio -- that his gentle music has actually militarized a generation of "thugs." Just this morning on San Francisco's KSFO, professional angry person Brian Sussman called Common's White House trip "an insult to America."
Sussman described his idea of Common's audience -- "The fourteen-year-old gangbanger who probably doesn't have a father or the dad's just one of those baby-daddies" -- and the message that kid will get from CDs like Finding Forever: "You got to have an Uzi. That's what this guy Common is all about, inspiring gangbangers."
See, professional angry talk radio hosts are outraged that in some verses once Common expressed vague, poetic hostilities toward police officers and something about carrying an Uzi. It is entirely consistent for right-wing pundits to be upset by such pop-culture fantasies, because they spent every day of the last decade denouncing former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for blasting all those cops so awesomely in Terminator 2.
Anyway, here are five more reasons conservatives should be mad at Common.
1. Common's song and album Be recklessly encourage his audience -- which includes minorities -- to continue being.
2. "Common" is an adjective that doesn't apply to this country. It should be changed to "American Exceptional."
3. On his hard-hitting and inflammatory track "Driving Me Wild," Common raps about "Bobby and 'Whit" and Reese Witherspoon's relationship with Ryan Phillippe. This suggests he reads Us Weekly rather than The American Prospect.
4. "The Bizness," a De La Soul track from 1996, censors the second half of Common's couplet "You take a dive like Greg Louganis with his anus." (It's at 1:50 below.) Talk radio conservatives believe Common should stand up to a lamestream media that refuses to support principled denunciations of gay anuses.
5. Because the American public must be reminded at all times -- especially now! -- that the president is black and therefore somehow un-American.
(Sorry! I forgot to make the last one a joke!)