Common Premieres 2 Powerful New Verses From His Upcoming Album (Video)
Today (May 31) Common was a guest on Sway In The Morning. In the last year and a half, Common has added Oscar awards, Golden Globe awards, and another Grammy to his stash of trophy accolades. Meanwhile, he put a beef to bed and made a blockbuster film and a soundtrack video single with Ice Cube. However, just because Comm’ Sense is increasingly embraced by mainstream award shows does not mean that the Chicago, Illinois veteran is not committed to speaking (or rhyming) what is on his mind, no matter who it may (or may not) rile up.
In the days before gold albums and G.O.O.D. Music, Common made noise addressing issues such as abortion, the misrepresentation of Hip-Hop, and why Assata Shakur was a meaningful historical figure of revolution. Those verses have cost the major label star, as he has been condemned (by major institutions) for some of those same remarks.
Now more recognized than ever before, Rashid Lynn still busts rhymes that speak up. On Sway’s show, the veteran on air personality inquires about some rhymes, and DJ Wonder drops Miilkbone’s most beloved instrumental. Common interpolates some MC Lyte (his past collaborator) and gets to work. For Comm’, the theme of Black America prompts him to mention Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, and other slain Black people—and describe how folks have been treated like “lab rats” in project houses, and manipulated by the political system for centuries. In the second verse, the Def Jam Records MC gets especially historical, chronicling the mistreatment of Native Americans, the renaming of kidnapped African slaves, and the present-day violence that gets ignored by those in power. Common recently dealt with many of those themes on his most recent LP, Nobody’s Smiling. Common moves the audience from political and social institutions to within. He raps, “I know that Black Lives Matter, do they matter to us?” as a response to his criticism of Black-on-Black crime, and demand for “the hate” to stop. He calls mass incarceration “the new plantation.”
In closing (keeping a possible third verse to himself for now) Common lauds Ava Duvernay, Cory Booker, and Ta-Nehisi Coates as great examples of Black Americans. Common does all this, as he says, simply in honor of the American Black Film Festival. Sway points out that in (more than) 20 years of working together, Common Sense has never once refused a chance to rhyme on his platforms.
These are believed to be two verses from a song called “Black America,” and may appear on Common’s upcoming eleventh solo LP.