Common Reveals The Title And Featured Artists On His Next Album (Video)
In the last 25 years, Common’s discography is speckled with a number of award-winning, thematic, and cult-championed albums. The MC has evolved from a beer-drinking, slick-talking rhymer into a reflective lyrical poet, to a hit-maker, and cultural symbol of self and external love. It has been more than two years since the Chicago, Illinois native MC and actor released an album. Following Nobody’s Smiling, the Grammy and Oscar Award winner recently broke down the pertinent information surrounding the LP that envelopes “Black America Again.”
Speaking with Complex News, Common revealed the title to his eleventh LP. “I wrote a song about my father [where I said] ‘This is “Lil’ Chicago Boy” talkin’ about him; my team was like, ‘That’s a good name for the album.'” It was in that lyric, and with the suggestion of his colleagues that Comm’ named his next album. “Lil Chicago Boy is a description of me and [a lot of others, regardless of city].”
Common, revered as a pioneer of the Windy City Hip-Hop scene, aims to advance the ball at an exciting time. “My city is creating and producing some dope artists. Obviously, Chance [The Rapper] is one; Vic Mensa—and there’s new ones too, but I still rock with Lil Herb and [Lil] Bibby. Chicago is really good at producing authentic artists.” Of Chi City artists making noise a decade ago, he says, “Kanye [West], Lupe [Fiasco, and] myself, none of us ever tried to be what we weren’t.”
The MC and actor believes that 2016 is a climate that is exciting for all forms of inspirational art. “I was inspired by people enjoying art and art being successful—whether it was Kendrick [Lamar’s] album, the play Hamilton, whether it’s Chance, whether it’s Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between The World and Me, people seem like they appreciate and are open to different types of art. Man, that opened a lane for me, because that’s what type of artist I am.”
As far as guests, the vet listed some those who are featured. “Yes, Stevie [Wonder] will be on the album—on that song ‘Black America Again,'” he said. “Anderson .Paak is on there, [and] The Internet. John Legend will be on here. We got Marsha Ambrosius [and] Bilal. J. Rocc, who’s a DJ. [We have] Jay Electronica doin’ something [too].” While there has been talk of Common reuniting with his onetime G.O.O.D. Music producer and boss Kanye West, Common says the pair are just playing one another music at present. “He’ll give you that opinion.”
Besides “Black America Again,” Lil Chicago Boy features a song tentatively titled “Rewind,” a dedication to J Dilla. In the 2000s, Common and Dilla worked together closely on his albums, those of Slum Village, and solo Jay Dee projects. More than a decade after the Detroit, Michigan multi-talent’s death, this song is important to Common. “You know, for a while, I [did not] want to talk about [J] Dilla.” The artist says he did not want to use J Dilla to promote himself. “Plus, [mourning J Dilla] was still kind raw for me. That was my roommate when he passed. We had this [brotherhood].” J Rocc, who was the third member of Dilla’s JayLib, appears on the LP and in the video.
There is no release date at present for Lil Chicago Boy.