The heated war of words sparked by a White House invite extended to music artist, Common, an open supporter of convicted cop killer, Assata Shakur has Yahoo Answers abuzz when one poster questioned why the rapper would name his now 14-year-old daughter after a convicted cop killer.
“Why did Common name his daughter after Black Panther Assata Shakur, convicted of the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1977,” asked the poster.
A Twitter response on Common’s daughter’s name read, “@common ppl saying this is just more hype to make him look bad b/c of those lyrics JMHO USMCMGST”
Other responses on the Yahoo site were not actually in support of the rapper allegedly naming his child after the fugitive, but more on details about Shakur’s conviction, former President George Bush, and the state of the times we lived in during the 1960s and 1970s.
“Maybe that would account for his poetry that supports cop killings. She [his daughter] will disown him in her early adult years when she realizes what a sorry state he put her in with that name or she will just be too stupid to enough know. Yet, I get the sinking impression he has told her fairytale story's mirroring his sick poetry,” commented another poster.
Omoye Assata Lynn is the only child of the rapper and former girlfriend Kim Jones. Her birth coincided with the release of Common's third album, “One Day It'll All Make Sense.”
Common told journalist, Raquel Cepeda, the birth of Omoye left him with a newfound sense of responsibility as an artist that aided in his transformation from bachelor to father. He added that his musical growth is evident on the album's second song, “Retrospect For Life“, which he recorded as a dedication to his daughter.
Rolling Stone's Kevin Powell called the song the “centerpiece” of the album, which addresses family and offers a male perspective on Abortion and fatherhood. Common told Cepeda that when he listens to "Retrospect" it reminds him of how precious his daughter's life is. In the song, he harmonizes about using self-control versus birth control. He speaks about wanting to raise his child within a family and not having the drama of a baby's momma. The cover features a childhood photo of the rapper with his mother and a bible quote, which summarizes the path to manhood.
The song’s lyrics bear no reference to Shakur or anything controversial, and since the rapper's meeting with her took place in 2001, several years after Omoye Assata’s birth, it may have nothing to do with the fugitive.
“I had a book of Afrikan names, case we changed our minds,” goes one lyric. Although the album was a Billboard flop, only having sold 250,000 copies, Common scored a major record deal with MCA Records and relocated from Chicago to New York City in 1999.
Judging from his latest tweets concerning the White House invite, he says the poetry event went well and he enjoyed himself. In one tweet, he says, “OWW!..my bad, that was me pinching myself after last night. I had an unbelievable time at the White House!”
"I had to keep it hip-hop and soulful,” tweeted Common.
Before he began his poetic recital, Common addressed the audience saying everyone is entitled to their political opinion and he respected that right. He ended his speech by saying that no one should question his support of law enforcement and troops that protect us everyday, TurboLyrics.com reported.
His appearance at the First Lady’s White House Music series, "Evening of Poetry" went on without incident as the Chicago native recited lines referencing his daughter, poet Langston Hughes and the Lord before an audience of children and adults. He ended with “God Bless,” and the voice of the late Dr. Martin Luther King echoing, “I have a dream” and “One day.”