Hypocritical Rappers Cannot Claim the Moral High Ground
Common compared the Cowboys' Jerry Jones to a slave owner, and Eminem attacked Trump — but just look at their lyrics
Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., better known as Common, made headlines last September for becoming the first rapper to win Emmy, Grammy and Academy Awards. This month, however, it’s his criticism of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that has him in the spotlight.
Jones recently said the Cowboys, who are dubbed “America’s Team,” would be benching any player who shows disrespect to the flag during the national anthem prior to the team’s games. This did not sit well with Common — who questioned Jones’ patriotism.
“It’s an owner mentality,” the rapper told TMZ Sports. “Like a slave owner mentality, to be honest. Like, ‘You gonna do what I say on this.'”
Common is hardly the only person criticizing Jones for wanting his team to respect the flag — but the rapper's sudden patriotism certainly comes across as a bit ironic.
In the past, Common used lyrics in his 2007 rap "A Letter to the Law" to call for violence against former President George W. Bush. In addition, Common has talked about killing police officers.
Of course, as do many other rappers, Common degrades African-Americans (he has a song titled "N***** Quotes") and disrespects women (he has a song called "The B**** in You") in his lyrics. In the latter song, he raps about hitting a woman, saying, "I heard a ho say you her favorite rapper, so I had to slap her."
He even dedicated a song to FBI fugitive Assata Shakur, who was convicted of killing a New Jersey police officer in 1973. Shakur was also a leader of the Black Liberation Army, a former domestic terror and black nationalist organization in the United States. In the song, Common's hook is, "I'm thinking of Assata, yes. Listen to my love, Assata, yes. Your power and pride is beautiful. May God bless your soul."
Ironically enough, Common was invited to the White House in 2011 by former first lady Michelle Obama for an event meant to celebrate American poetry with schoolchildren. That invite was met with backlash due to the rapper's lack of respect for the office of the presidency in the 2000s.
The connection between the Obama family and Common was membership in the predominantly African-American Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The church gained notoriety during the 2008 election cycle because its reverend, Jeremiah Wright, spread anti-white, anti-Semitic, and anti-American rhetoric in his sermons.
While former President Barack Obama disavowed his former pastor, Common refused to do so. Instead, he attacked the media for uncovering the pastor's words.
Since Common's messages in his music divide the country — perhaps it is not his place to bash an NFL owner for decisions he makes about a team he owns.
Common and Jerry Jones seem to disagree about the essence and value of police officers in American communities. Common raps about people who shoot police officers; meanwhile, Jones has given police officers free Cowboys tickets. Jones' Cowboys also tried to honor five slain Dallas police officers with helmet decals for the 2016 NFL season — but the league denied their request.
Neither is in a position to question someone else's morals.
Common is not the only rapper who has been garnering attention for hypocritical reasons this week. Eminem released a pre-recorded freestyle diss rap through the BET Awards about President Donald Trump, calling the president racist and ending his four-and-a-half minute track — with many pauses in action — with a predictable "f*** you" to the president.
The irony here of Eminem's calling the president hateful is that the rapper frequently uses racial and homophobic slurs and attacks numerous women — such as Christina Aguilera, Lana Del Rey, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Pamela Anderson, Miley Cyrus, Tori Spelling, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Palin, and many others — in his music.
Both Common and Eminem may enjoy the praise they receive from leftists for bashing others, but neither is in a position to question someone else's morals when it comes to respecting the country's flag or America's commander-in-chief.
Perhaps if these rappers spread a loving message themselves and were respectful in their disagreements, their arguments would have more merit.