Rapper Common to visit White House, Conservatives Object

May 11, 2011, 10:02 by R.E. Christian

Conservatives rapped the White House and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama for inviting rapper-actor Common to a celebration of poetry and prose Wednesday.

Objections arise from a 2007 YouTube video of Common in which he says, among other things, "tell the law, my Uzi weighs a ton," CBS News reported.

The Common story was flagged Daily Caller story and featured on conservative news aggregator Drudge Report with the headline "First Lady to host rapper who talks of killing cops, burning Bush," and television's "Fox Nation" asked, "Michelle Obama Hosting Vile Rapper at White House?"

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Fox commentator and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, linked to the article on her Twitter page, adding "Oh lovely, White House."

However, liberal media monitor Media Matters reported a FoxNews.com reporter told the rapper in October that "your music is very positive."

Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., was a supporter of Obama in 2008. And the controversy generated by his invitation to the White House hasn't fazed him.

"So apparently Sarah Palin and Fox News doesn't like me," he tweeted Tuesday.

Other participants at the celebration of American poetry and prose, which will be hosted by the Obamas, include Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott.

ABC News said despite his controversial video, Common is mainstream in many ways, noting his two Grammy wins, acting turns in "American Gangster," "Terminator Salvation" and "Date Night," his belief in prayer, his music featured in ad campaigns for major products -- including the Lincoln Navigator and BlackBerry -- and his avoiding the violence he witnessed growing up in Chicago.

"I've never killed anybody physically," Common said in a 2007 interview with Esquire magazine, "maybe on the mic I have."

Source: UPI