Despite backlash from Republican pundits, Rapper/Poet Common still performed at the White House on May 11 during an evening of poetry. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) was among the political critics who blasted President Obama for inviting a socially conscious rapper whose works have drawn criticism.

The event—part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House Music Series—featured Common and other artists to celebrate the spoken word and poetry in front of high schoolers, The Washington Post reported.

“I woke up with the sunshine, a sunshine I had never seen,” the Grammy-winning artist said during his performance. “There was light at the end of it, reminding me to forever dream. I was dreaming I walked into the White House with love on my sleeve and love for each and every one of you, reminding you to believe.”

The reaction to the performance included headlines on Fox Nation, a Fox News Web site, that labeled Common a “cop-killer rapper” and “vile.”

The Fox treatment included a YouTube video of previous Common poem, “A Letter to the Law,” circulated among blogs and news sites citing alleged death threats to former President George Bush in his lyrics.

“I hold up a peace sign, but I carry a gun,” Common said at the end of the poem on the video.

Sarah Palin sent out a tweet that read “Oh lovely, White House…”

“The White House’s judgment on inviting someone who is glorifying cop killing during police memorial week of all times…You know, the judgment is just so lacking of class and decency…,” Palin said on the Fox News Channel.

Palin maintained that she had nothing against hip-hop.

“I’m not anti-rap,” Palin added. “Like Bret Baier, I know the lyrics to ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ too.”

Bret Baier is a reporter for Fox News.

Erica Butler

AFRO Staff Writer