Common has been gearing up for a busy year, announcing in September that he’d be working on an EP and an album in 2014. In a recent interview with Revolt TV, it looks like that EP may have morphed into a full-on album, as Common’s studio sessions with No I.D. have proved more fruitful than anticipated.
“I feel excited about the project I’m working on,” he said in the interview, above. “It’s called Nobody Smiling. It’s an album; originally I was making it an EP, but we’ve just been making a lot of songs, myself and No I.D. We came up with this concept—Nobody Smiling was really a thought that came about because of all the violence that was going on in Chicago, or that is going on… It happens in Chicago, but it’s going on around the world in many ways, in inner cities all over America. We were talking about the conditions of what was happening when I said Nobody Smiling, but it’s really a call to action.”
Common has weighed in of late on that very violence in his hometown, saying to TMZ in October that he agreed with recent statements made by fellow Chi-town MC Kanye West. “You see what’s going on with the young people right now, there’s a lot of death and violence going on in Chicago,” Common said at the time. “We’re not happy about that. We’re not proud about that but we’re gonna make change.”
In the Revolt interview, Common also expounded on some of his thoughts on Chicago’s up-and-coming hip-hop community, which boasts rappers as diverse as Chief Keef, Chance The Rapper, Lil Durk and Vic Mensa.
“The new crop of Chicago artists are really representing what Chicago is about, from the diversity aspect and just having their own styles, from the way we talk in Chicago, the lingo that Chicago has used,” Common said. “I think those younger artists really bring what Chicago is about, and they really have brought something new to hip-hop.”
Check the full interview here.