This just in from Jake Tapper:
The White House Wednesday condemned some of the lyrics and prose of hip hop star Common, whose invitation to a White House poetry event this evening has brought criticism from some conservatives and police officers.
“The president does not support and opposes the kind of lyrics that has been written about,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said when American Urban Radio’s April Ryan asked him about the controversy.
Carney said the president has “in the past spoken very forcefully out against violent and misogynistic lyrics…”
That said, the White House press secretary suggested that some of the media coverage of this controversy has not be fair or accurate.
“While the president doesn’t support the kind of lyrics that have been raised here,” Carney said, “some of these reports distort what Mr. Lynn stands for more broadly,” referring to Common by his given name, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. “Within that genre of hip hop and rap he is known as…a conscious rapper.”
As opposed to an unconscious rapper, presumably, such as one who has been knocked out by LL Cool J. (See? I can relate to the young people of today.)
I support the right of Mr. Lynn to say what he wants. I also support the right of people who don’t like it to say what they want. In Lynn’s defense, I haven’t listened to much of his music (I don’t go to Starbucks), but I did think he was really good in Smokin’ Aces and Street Kings.