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Common Talks with ESSENCE About White House Controversy

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It's been months since Common's White House fiasco made headlines, but during his recent visit with ESSENCE.com he opened up about how he felt about the situation.

While here to give our staffers an early listen of his new album "The Dreamer, The Believer," he shared the personal story of discovering how he was unfairly portrayed as a threatening rapper.

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He mentioned to us that on the morning he traveled to the White House to perform for the First Couple during their poetry event, he discovered that Bill O'Reilly labeled him as a "thug" based on one song he put out 10 years ago called "A Song for Assata," in support of activist Assata Shakur. Common said he started in the music industry to make headlines in a positive way, but never thought he'd be portrayed in such a negative manner.

Common went on to perform at the White House that day and then immediately traveled to film a new TV series where he plays a freed slave.

"Hell on Wheels" is series' title and Common says it was one the most complex and dynamic characters he's ever come across as a Black actor. It's a story that focuses on the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad.

He plays Elam Ferguson, a biracial freed slave.

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Common says it was truly a full circle moment for him.

We look forward to seeing "Hell on Wheels" when it premieres on Sunday, November 6th at 10 p.m.

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