Not even casual hip-hop fans would characterize Common as a controversial rapper, but some of the Chicago native's lyrics have become a target for criticism by former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
First Lady Michelle Obama invited Common to participate in a poetry evening at the White House Wednesday, which prompted The Daily Caller to peruse some of Common's past lyrics, pointing out threats to shoot police and a passage that calls for the "burn[ing]" of then-President George W. Bush.
A blog posting on Palin's website criticizes Michelle Obama for "making us all proud," and Palin tweeted a link to the article with the words "Oh lovely, White House."
Common seemed to be amused by the dustup Tuesday morning, tweeting and retweeting the various news items from his Twitter account, such as FOX News' description of him as a "vile rapper."
Common, who is also a successful actor, is known as one of the most lyrically poetic rappers, hence his inclusion in the White House event. Last month he appeared in Chicago for a charity event for his foundation, honoring legendary author and poet Maya Angelou.
There's no word from the White House on whether the controversy will affect Wednesday's event.
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