Chicago native and rap icon Common displayed immaculate storytelling prowess during Thursday’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon while performing the title track off his forthcoming album, Black America Again.
For the minimalist performance, the rapper donned a gray hoodie in a nod to Trayvon Martin, whom he mentions in the opening tempo: “Here we go, here, here we go again. Trayvon’ll never get to be an older man.”
The Oscar Award-winner makes a heavy lift in his narrative, discussing everything from incessant police shootings, to slavery, wage inequality, mass incarceration, and poverty.
Soulful crooner BJ The Chicago Kid sings the hook, “We are the Black American story,” which Stevie Wonder originally belts out on the studio track.
“I know that Black Lives matter and they matter to us. These are the things we gotta discuss,” the rapper sings in syncopated rhyme in the second verse.
“We wasn’t shipped here to rob and shoot ya. We hold these truths to be self evident. Our men and women are created equal, including Black Americans,” Common says in closing.
Longtime friend and collaborator Questlove posted an image of the emcee in anticipation of the powerful performance.
Watch the message of resilience above.
SOURCE: Billboard, YouTube | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Instagram