Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First Lady Hosts White House Gangsta Poetry Night

Washington DC, May 10, 2011. First Lady Michelle Obama has scheduled a White House poetry evening for tommorow night.

The First Lady has invited several poets, including a Chicago poet and rapper, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., aka  “Common.”

Lynn is controversial, because his poetry includes threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the “burn[ing]” of then-President George W. Bush.

Here’s a sample of Common’s work, transcribed from a 2007 video on YouTube.

A Letter to the Law 

Dem boy wanna talk… [indistinguishable]
Whatcha gon do if ya got one gun? 
I sing a song for the hero unsung
with faces on the mural of the revolution 
No looking back cos’ in back is what’s done
Tell the preacher, God got more than one son
Tell the law, my Uzi weighs a ton 

I walk like a warrior,
from them I won’t run
On the streets, they try to beat us like a drum 
In Cincinnati, another brother hung
A guinea won’t see the sun
with his family stung 

They want us to hold justice
but you handed me none
The same they did to Kobe and Michael Jackson 
make them the main attraction
Turn around and attack them
Black gem in the rough 
You’re rugged enough

Use your mind and nine-power, get the government touch
Them boys chat-chat on how him pop gun 
I got the black strap to make the cops run
They watching me, I’m watching them

Them dick boys got a lock of cock in them 
My people on the block got a lot of pok in them
and when we roll together
we be rocking them to sleep 

No time for that, because there’s things to be done
Stay true to what I do so the youth dream come
from project building
Seeing a fiend being hung 
With that happening, why they messing with Saddam?

Burn a Bush cos’ for peace he no push no button
Killing over oil and grease 
no weapons of destruction
How can we follow a leader when this a corrupt one
The government’s a g-unit and they might buck young black people 
Black people In the urban area one
I hold up a peace sign, but I carry a gun.
Peace, ya’ll.”

These are the lyrics that Michelle Obama thinks are worthy of a poetry reading at The White House. Michelle Obama thinks this is art, and an important cultural contribution to our society.

But the above poem looks like nonsense to me. He talks about putting cops to sleep with his "black strap" and about how Kobe and Michael Jackson "got no justice." I seem to recall that BOTH were acquitted by juries. What sort of justice did Common want for them?

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