Maya Angelou said she is disappointed and surprised to hear the N-word surface in a recording on which she and rapper Common collaborated recently. But she still sings the rapper’s praises.

The National Arts Medal recipient widely known for her memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” told the New York Post she was unaware the word is used by Common or that it would be inserted in a track in which she read from her works including the passage “From Africa they lay in the bilge of slave ships / And stood half naked on auction blocks /. . . and still they dreamed.”

As she read her work on the track titled “The Dreamer,” the Post said, Common’s lyrics included such lines as “Told my n—a I’m ’bout to win the Grammys now” and “N—as with no heart, I’m the pacemaker.”

As far as she is concerned, the word has no useful place in the lexicon of civilized people. She said the word is “vulgar and dangerous” to the Black community.

“I’m surprised and disappointed. I don’t know why he chose to do that. I had never heard him use that before. I admired him so because he wasn’t singing the line of least resistance,”Angelou said.

Still, according to, she said she respects him and touts his prospects. Common is a “brilliant” artist, even a “genius maybe,” she said when she called in to BET’’s 106th and Park during the show’s Dec. 21 interview with Common “but he’s certainly smart enough to know that he’s in process.

“And next week he might not use the N-word or the B-word. It may even take two or three weeks or a month but I’m not going to be separated from him,” she said of their friendship. She has characterized him as a son to her.

Common told the Post that he had not informed her in advance that the N-word would be part of the track titled “The Dreamer” and noted, “She knows I use the word. She knows that’s part of me.