Common Performs at the White House, Somehow Manages Not to Rap About Killing Anyone


The trumped-up drama behind Michelle Obama inviting Common and Jill Scott to the White House — stirred up by Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, and Matt Drudge, who more or less attempted to portray the two as violence-espousing rappers and racists, respectively, even though, you know, that's not true — didn't prevent the actual performances from happening. Above: Common, in a sharp gray suit, rapping, mostly a cappella, about overcoming struggles and the importance of education, in the positive, harmless, "socially conscience" style he's known for. He does paraphrase Malcom X's "by any means necessary" at some point, and while you're free to disagree (and certainly lots of people with influential speaking platforms will!), it doesn't quite sound like a call for violent revolution. So this is over now, right? Everyone's in agreement that Common doesn't want to kill anyone?

If there is a positive here, though, it's that people are talking about Common — or, as some avid moviegoers know him, the star of the 2010 romantic comedy Just Wright — as a rapper again. Hey, remember this awesome song?