Hip-hop artist Common has made no secret of his support for Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential bid. The Grammy-winning rapper has shouted out the fellow Chicagoan on at least two songs, and he’s also a lifelong member of Trinity United Church of Christ, where Obama’s controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, preached until his retirement this year. When EW.com stopped by a Manhattan studio today to hear Common’s latest album-in-progress, Invincible Summer (including an uplifting
song called “Changes,” which he describes as perfect background music
for an Obama victory speech), the Chi-Town MC shared his thoughts on the recent media firestorm surrounding Wright.
“Obviously, the media has an agenda,” Common said. “I don’t follow what the media says. I’m a thinker for myself. And I just encourage people to be objective: When you’re watching, use your inner eye and really try to watch the person and see what you think about them. Because you can never really capture a person in the media blitz.”
Common added that he feels Wright is more than the sum of his sound bites. “I may not agree with people that I love, but if we understand, that what’s important. I’ve been going to that church since I was eight years old. So what he’s doing is giving people an understanding of a man’s perspective that grew up in the era of racial prejudice and has since progressed. The only way we’re going to progress is not judging and not quickly becoming offended. Just because somebody believes in something different from you don’t make them against you.”
For more on Invincible Summer, check EW’s summer music preview coverage in print next month.