[video] NOISEY Chicago (Trailer)

Two years ago, Noisey went to Chicago to make a documentary series called Chiraq. It focused on drill artists like Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Lil Reese and Young Chop and was controversial in its portrayal of the city. Now, we have Noisey Chicago, shot last year in the South Side of city where we revisit some of the characters from Noisey Chiraq to find out what’s happened to them since we last met. We also explore the problems and solutions that the artists and residents of Chicago are dealing with, in a city where the murder rate is out of control and its victims are getting younger and younger every year. Features Chief Keef, Vic Mensa, Common, Lil Durk and Young Chop.


[pic] Chicago Reporter Tweets Pic of Bullet Proof Subway Restaurant

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 7.45.55 AM Kudos to the owner of the restaurant who took the steps to protect his workers, because we all know the bullets are flying daily in Chicago.

via CHICAGO (CBS) — While out on an unrelated assignment, CBS 2 investigative reporter Dave Savini decided to stop by a South Side Subway sandwich shop for a meal. Savini was struck by the fact that the counter of the store at 116th Street and South Halsted was encased in bullet-proof glass. Such a sight would be common at crime magnets like gas stations or currency exchanges, but a Subway? Continue reading

An Obituary For ‘Conscious Rap’ by Omar Burgess

Check out this dope piece written by Omar Burgess about ‘the death of conscious rap.’ I love his assessment and think you guys should read this.

via Hip Hop DX

I was listening to Til The Casket Drops—not necessarily mad at it, but definitely wishing it was more like Hell Hath No Fury—when I found Malice quoting scriptures and talking about watching Madagascar with his kids in a way that didn’t sound preachy or forced. I started wondering if Malice and Pusha T had stumbled upon some bastardized form of “Conscious Rap.” The Clipse have voiced their distaste for rhymes with heavy-handed messages over the years. But if this is the new standard for what’s conscious, I’m either glad Conscious Rap, as my generation knew it, is dead or interested to see who else will toss a few more shovels full of dirt on the casket [no pun intended].

Continue reading

Common Wants To Curb Chicago Youth Violence

Source: MTVNews.com  Steven Roberts, with additional reporting by Jayson Rodriguez

Following death of Derrion Albert, rapper says it’s ‘our responsibility’ to teach kids to value their own lives.

In the wake of the tragic death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert, many hip-hop artists have spoken out about violence, not only among the youth of Chicago, but in other cities like Atlanta and Newark. Nas wrote an open letter to Chicago teens following the honor student’s senseless beating death, urging them that they were fighting the wrong war.

Killer Mike blogged forXXLmag.com, apologizing to Albert and the four teens charged with his murder, Silvonus Shannon, 19; Eugene Riley, 18; Eugene Bailey, 17; and Eric Carson, 16, for letting them down. David Banner also addressed the situation in his song, appropriately titled, “Something Is Wrong.”

MTV News caught up withCommon at Wednesday’s Hennessy Artistry 2009 Seriesshow in New York, and the legendary Chicago MC echoed their sentiments. “For me, I grew up around it, but I have a great mom, have a wonderful stepfather and great family around, and I know every kid is not provided that blessing which we should naturally have,” Common said.

Continue article at MTVNews.com

[video] Common is DOW JONES

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’m feeling how they shot this, it really captures the feeling of an old school Blaxploitation flick. Wasn’t that floored by Common‘s performance in Terminator:Salvation but I still do believe he has a future in Hollywood if only he can casted in a roll that is more familiar to his swag. I’m not buying into the tough guy image.

Common Gets Tapped to Star in new flick alongside Tina Fey

via XXL

Once he gets past killing Skynet robots alongside Christian Bale in this summer’s Terminator Salvation, Common is slated to star in another high-profile film. Variety reports that the Chicago emcee has signed on to play a villain in the comedy, Date Night.common_l

The all-star cast of the 20th Century Fox production includes stars Steve Carrell of The Office and Tina Fey of 30 Rock, as well as Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, and Taraji P. Henson in supporting roles. Yet to begin filming, Date Night has no official release date at press time.

For Common, in addition to conquering the big screen, his next moves will take him into the fragrance and apparel worlds. Partnering with Diesel, the rapper will appear in print and television ads promoting the new men’s fragrance, “Only The Brave,” according to Billboard. Microsoft has also tapped Common for Softwear, a line of t-shirts currently available in select stores.

[video] Common’s AMP Energy Drink Commercial+Diesel Ad

Yeah, according to Cam, Crime Pays but hard work pays out as well (in residuals at that!).  Common has reached his apex as a rapper, is entering his plateau as an actor and these days it seems he is definitely the pitchman of choice for corporations looking to integrate with the Hip Hop dollar.  While some think he is on the cusp of over saturation, I for one beg to differ.  I remember the dedication he put into his craft and those checks are finally pouring in.  Congrats. 


source: Nahright/Woooha

Rock the Bells 2009 Lineup Announced!

via HipHopDXr

For those Hip Hop fans that have been waiting in anticipation for this years Rock the Bells festival, Guerilla Union has finally announced the lineup!

Headlined by Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” MarleyThe RootsCommon, Big BoiKRS-OneReflectional Eternal (Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek), SlaughterhouseM.O.P.Sage Francis and many more will be rocking stages across the U.S. & Canada.

Although the dates and venues have yet to be announced; you can expect the tour to come through Chicago, Washington, Boston, New York, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami; as well as Toronto & Vancouver.

Common, Wyclef, Ne-Yo Appear on “The Electric Company”


via HipHopDX

This past January, PBS brought back the 1970s classic television show “The Electric Company,” with special appearances from several famous faces including Mario Barrett, Sean Kingston, and Tiki Barber. The original version of the educational kid’s program, which helped children learn the ins and outs of English grammar, regularly starred big names like Bill Cosby and Morgan Freeman.

Recently, Common [click to read], Wyclef, and Ne-Yo each made musical contributions to the show.

Common plays the part of an Indiana Jones type character who searches for a gigantic artifact:

one word: pause

Common Addresses America’s “Call to Action” with the First National Online Book Club for Teens Through the Common Ground Foundation


via HipHopPress

March 09, 2009, SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In an effort to encourage and inspire youth to read and use the power of their voice, Grammy® winner, actor and children’s author Common, launches the first national online book club at http://www.commongroundfoundation.org/thecorner.html. The Corner book club is an interactive way for 8th-12th grade students to learn and to talk about reading materials that are relevant to their life.

Each month, The Corner educational team chooses a book-of-the-month that conveys messages of tolerance, compassion and non-violent expressions of achieving social justice. Through lively discussions about the world of books through “Let’s Talk,” The Corner book club blog, members are encouraged to discuss, debate, critique, and comment on the selected material. A monthly spotlight of celebrity interviews focus on artists’ favorite books, why reading is important to them and issues that teens face today. The questions come right from The Corner youth members. In addition, members have the opportunity to participate in a live online chat with the author of the monthly book selection, which further strengthens relationship between young people and reading.

Common explains, “My mom was a teacher, and growing up she always stressed the importance of education. So when I look back it’s not a surprise for me to use words as a tool to make change, and to inspire children for the future.”

For March, War Child by Emmanuel Jal, is the featured “book-of-the-month”. War Child is the true story of Emmanuel Jal’s experiences as a child soldier in Sudan, before being rescued by a British aid worker, and his near-miraculous rise to international stardom as an African hip-hop artist. The book was released by St. Martin’s Press in February 2009 and Jal’s interview can be read in Chloe’s Corner on The Corner website. Continue reading

Kanye West Says ‘Best Hip-Hop Beats Of All Time’ Will Be On Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3


via MTV

Another Jay-Z song leaked online last month — that’s OK, just make some more. Kanye West says he’s just a handful of records away from finishing Jay’s The Blueprint 3, again.

“I finished his album and he released four songs that were potentially gonna be on the album,” West said last week on Sway and King Tech’s “Wake Up Show.” “So I gotta go back and do four. I just did one beat the other day in Hawaii — probably one of the best hip-hop beats of all time, if I do say so myself. I just gotta do three more beats and we’re done, ’cause he’s got classics. He’s got songs that are better than any of the things you’ve heard leaked.”

Two records that Kanye says should make B3‘s final cut are “Everyday a Star is Born” and “Forever Young.”

“You know what it was — every year I do two albums’ worth of really dope beats,” he explained. “This year, Common did his album with Pharrell, and I did 808s & Heartbreak and Blueprint 3. So just imagine the caliber of beats on the last two Common albums I did — Jay-Z has those types of beats. Those caliber of beats. A beat like ‘The People,’ that’s the highest caliber of beat.”

In 2009, at least one album’s worth of beats looks like it will be set aside for a Kanye LP. Continue reading

Common Sets the Record Straight and Says HIP HOP is his Girl, not Serena


via WTB

We have been sure Serena Williams and rapper common are dating, but look, they are denying it again.

So now, you’re dating Serena Williams?

Common: [Laughs] Nah man, I’m dating hip-hop.

I don’t know man, I saw you on a surfboard in Hawaii with her

Common: That was my first time surfing, and I had an incredible time. I’ve been on vacations with groups of friends, but of course they’re going to keep me in the pictures with Serena. They’re not going to film one of my boys, or one of my homies, like they would Serena and I.

So you’re saying you’re not dating?

Common: Nah, I’m dating hip-hop. My love is hip-hop.

So is Serena your best girl-friend?

Common: Ha, nah man. My best girl-friend is hip-hop. I’m a single man.

Oh, you can say you’re not in a relationship with Serena, but how can you say your girlfriend is hip-hop? Maybe he’s taking revenge on Serena who said that tennis was her primary interest. (via All Things Serena Williams)

Common Sides w/Microsoft to Promote Zune

via Woooha

Microsoft has aggressively been trying to shed it’s old school image as it continues to fight Apple for computer and MP3 player market share. While Steve Jobs and Apple have done a fantastic job integrating the Apple line of products with popular and hip-hop culture, Bill Gates and co. have been a step behind. But according to Microsoft, things will change.

Microsoft has recently reached out to the hip-hop community including Pharrell for it’s “I’m a PC” ad campaign, Bun B as an official sponsor of the Zune, and now Common has joined the Microsoft gang and will promote the Zune with his upcoming album “Universal Mind Control” due out on December 9th. The Common/Microsoft partnership is already visible in Common’s recently released video to his single “Universal Mind Control” where a Zune is shown in the first couple seconds of the video.

In a recent interview with Ad Age, Common reveals why he decided to work with Microsoft and the Zune. “The Zune is something that I’ve been confident about associating myself with, because I think it’s got a fly presentation to it. It is truly about music lovers, for me,” Common stated. “I know that Microsoft has been around for 20 years, they established themselves in the mid-’80s, and since then they’ve progressed. Microsoft is classy, it’s a timeless brand, and it means something to the world, internationally, and I felt like that’s the direction of what I want Common to be, to be honest.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Common Sides w/Microsoft to Promote Zune“, posted with vodpod


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WTF? Is Nas’ Complex Magazine Photoshoot Borderline Suspect?

via Nahright

Now am I being close-minded by saying the realm of metro-sexuality should be left to Common and Kanye and our in-house “Hero” Nas/Nas Escobar/Nastradamus shouldn’t allow himself to be caught in these compromising positions especially in the climate that he is immersed in, talking revolutionary about the vigors of cooning and the importance of individual expression? Now if this is truly who he is, more power comrade but if he’s just adorning some threads to become another “personality” he so often morphs into..not a good look, home-skillet! There is such a thing as trying “too-hard.” Boy, this dude loves controversy, or so it seems…LOL, LMAO, SMH

Kanye West, Common, & record labels sued over jazz samples

Entertainer Kanye West performs during the Desert Rhythm Festival in Dubai October 26, 2007. West, Method Man, Redman, Common and their record companies were sued on Thursday by late U.S. jazz musician Joe Farrell\'s daughter, who accused them of using her father\'s music without approval.

Sampling has been an issue in Hip Hop since Biz Markie had an album snatched off the shelves for not clearing pieces of musical compositions he used in his songs. Well it has surfaced again in 2008 with some of your favorites in hot water with the daughter of a prominent jazz musician. Reuters got the scoop:

Rappers Kanye West, Method Man, Redman, Common and their record companies were sued on Thursday by late U.S. jazz musician Joe Farrell’s daughter, who accused them of using her father’s music without approval.

The lawsuit, filed by Kathleen Firrantello in the U.S. District Court in New York, names the rappers along with various labels owned by Universal Music Group./

None of the record companies or representatives for the rappers were immediately available for comment.

The lawsuit said all the rappers used portions of Farrell’s 1974 musical composition “Upon This Rock” in three separate songs — West in “Gone,” Common in “Chi-City” and Method Man and Redman in their song “Run 4 Cover.”

Firrantello is seeking punitive damages of at least $1 million and asked that no further copies of the songs be made, sold or performed, according to the lawsuit.



[audio] Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.) Common feat Pharrell

Common with a uncommon sound

Here goes a new joint from Common called “Universal Mind Control” off of his upcoming album “Invincible Summer” presumably produced by the NEPTUNES.
Although it sounds like nothing you’ve heard before the comparisons will be made to Electric Circus but it reminds me more of a synthesized sound out of the same vein of “Planet Rock.” The return to techno/disco seems to be a throwback to the architect Bambattaa and where he was attempting to take it.

Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.)- Common feat. Pharrell(gettin’ his Puff on)
CLICK [HERE] for audio

Common Casted For Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins

common terminator

via HipHop DX

Common continues his foray into the acting world by signing on to co-star in the upcoming “Terminator” film.

The Chicago emcee has been cast in the fourth installment of the series, which is called “Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.” According to Variety, Com will be co-starring alongside Christian Bale and Sam Worthington.

The movie is set around a 30-something John Connor, a protagonist in all of the previous movies, who leads the human raise against the machines.

Common will play the role of one of Connor’s close, trusted friends. The film is due for release in May 2009.

Since his acting debut in “Smokin’ Aces,” Com has also been featured in “American Gangster” and “Street Kings,” and will be in “Wanted,” starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman.

Idris Elba, The Game,& Common Tops at The Box Office

Scene from this weekend's #1 movie Prom Night
Some of urban culture’s biggest stars had a major impact in this weekend’s movie tallys. Eldris Elba star of box office hit Prom Night, is enjoying a sucessful transition to Hollywood from being reverred on television’s The Wire.. And hip hop superstars The Game & Common prove that they are viable movie stars in Kenau Reeve’s Street Kings. Their movies clocked in at the 1 & 2 positions to lead this weeks new movie releases.

The teen horror movie “Prom Night” was the belle of the ball at the weekend box office in North America, earning an estimated $22 million during its first three days, distributor Sony Pictures said on Sunday.

Also new was the violent cop thriller “Street Kings,” starring Keanu Reeves, at No. 2 with a solid $12 million, and the dark family comedy “Smart People” at No. 7 with a modest $4.2 million.

Click here for movie wrap-up…

Tennis Star Serena Williams Does Miami Beach(Pics)

These are some pics of Serena enjoying herself down in Miami Beach. She just finished carving another historic moment into her illustrious career by defeating Jelena Jankovic to win her fifth Sony Ericsson Open title, tying Steffi Graf for the number one spot for most women’s singles titles won at Key Biscayne. After her match she had this to say:

“I love Steffi Graf. She’s a great champion and was my role model…I feel like all I want to do is play tennis.”

Q-Tip Midnight 08′

From RealtalkNY


The third and final song from the Smirnoff Signature Mix Series is downloadable for FREE at http://www.SmirnoffSignatureMixSeries.com

The Smirnoff Signature Mix Series is a campaign pairing three acclaimed rappers with some serious beatmakers to create new versions of iconic hip-hop songs. Internationally renowned artists Common, Q-Tip, and KRS One joined musical forces with Just Blaze, Cool & Dre, and DJ Premier to re-imagine Common’s “The Light,” A Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight,” and Boogie Down Productions’ seminal “Criminal Minded.”

Two tracks are already available to download. If you haven’t yet, download KRS One and DJ Premier’s “Criminal Minded ‘08 (Smirnoff Signature Mix)” and Common and Just Blaze’s “The Light ‘08 (It’s Love) (Smirnoff Signature Mix)” featuring vocals by Marsha Ambrosius and Bilal. Today marks the debut of Q-Tip and Cool & Dre’s “Midnight ‘08.” Be sure to keep checking the site for exclusive videos and content.

Common Tapped to Play Green Lantern


Common is at the top of his game in both Hip Hop & Hollywood. In addition to prepping the release of Street Kings, scheduled to drop in theaters on April 11th alongside The Game & Keanu Reeves the Chi-Town wordsmith has been tapped to play Green Lantern for the upcoming Justice League movie. He had this to say to MTV News,

“It’s a blessing really, to know that I could potentially be this superhero… Justice League itself is an honor, and Green Lantern is an incredible character to play. It’s a blessing to be associated with it.”

Never one to forget his roots, Common is also prepping another studio album, scheduled for release in November. The set will be named The Believer. He also confirmed to MTV News that he is working to get the Q-Tip album finished as well. This joint will be named “The Standard.” He said this:

“We been conceptualizing, but we just gotta continue to work on it. We will. I look at it like two jazz musicians getting together, the way Charlie Parker and cats would get together and do work. I feel a lot more free with my music now that I’m doing films and stuff, because I don’t put as much pressure on the music. It ain’t my only source of income and way to make a living.”

Also, watch out for those Common sponsored Lincoln Navigator’s to be rolling out in a hood near you!